When skeletons tumble out

Published: 19 October, 2011 10:57 IST | Priyanjali Ghose |

Lillete Dubey's latest production, August: Osage County, to be staged for the first time in the city, promises to reveal some ugly home truths

Lillete Dubey's latest production, August: Osage County, to be staged for the first time in the city,  promises to reveal some ugly home truths

Gautam Buddha once said, "A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another." But August: Osage County, the Pulitzer & Tony Award winning popular Broadway play shows how familial relationships sour when one speaks his mind.

This weekend, Mumbai-based group The Primetime Theatre Co brings on stage the  English play directed by Lillete Dubey and written by American playwright Tracy Letts. Dubey confesses that she is a believer of the power of a good script that connects with the audience.

Lillete Dubey, and Sandhya Mridul

"I have mostly staged Indian writings in English. But this one was lying in the back burner for a long time. It is a modern, contemporary and strong piece of writing," says Dubey.

She adds that unlike the original script about a family in Oklahoma, USA we would see one living in Goa as that make characters in the play seem real to the Indian audience and suit the urban milieu.

August: Osage County opens at the farmhouse of the Westons, where the patriarch Beverly and the maid are discussing his wife Violet's drug habits. Soon after this interaction, Beverly goes missing and after five days he is found dead in a lake.
The death brings together the dysfunctional family comprising violet, her three daughters and their families. Each family member, according to Dubey, has the ability to drive the other crazy and the death only brings out this ugly truth.

Dubey, who plays Violet, explains that the death and the subsequent funeral bring out the betrayal and resentment that exists between the members of the family.

Describing Violet as a whacked out character, Dubey admits that playing a character like her is a rare treat for an actor. "Violet is out of the ordinary. She is in and out of the drug phase.  She is wickedly funny, hurtful as well as endearing."

The play has a powerful cast comprising Kitu Gidwani, Sandhya Mridul, Suchitra Pillai, Denzil Smith and Meeta Vasisht among others. Dubey disagrees that family drama will ever cease to appeal to the audience.
According to her, drama in relationships will always be a matter of concern and that is what makes August: Osage County universal in its theme.

"It is a dark comedy which is powerful, funny and dramatic. It can happen anywhere.  Family relationships transcend language and geographical barriers. In this play, all the lids are off and no gloves are on," signs off Dubey.

Where Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Malleswaram
On October 21 and 22, 7.30 pm
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For R 1,500, 1,000, 700 and 500

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