BREAKING    STEREOTYPES

A Review of Girish Karnadís new play - Wedding Album

by Jai Chandiram

 

Ira Dubey in Wedding Album

A family drama unravels the deep and dark mysteries of the Nandkarni family , lightly , with humour and pathos . Impeccable staging ,brilliant  cast and direction puts the "Wedding Album" on  a  must see for a fun filled evening . The play, Sponsored by Matrix, directed by Lillete Dubey, was performed at the Habitat Center last weekend

Girish Karnad's new play, is a departure from his earlier work. If you are familiar with the family serials on television and  the "Monsoon Wedding" the "Wedding Album" is also  centered around a "traditional" family getting together for a wedding in Dharwar . Family weddings are filled with anticipation and the joy of the family being  together ,but is also a time for clearing the air for hurts , jealousies and  frustrations of  oversights a "tu tu main mein". .The play is an expose  of middleclass , urban , global Indian  family. The young daughter  Vidula is  getting married to a boy from the US through an exchange of  personal portraits on video. The video  has the power to tell much and also   inadvertently manipulate, reveal  and hide what we honestly want to convey but are told  it is best not to tell .. The elder sister, Hema   lives abroad  and is  bitter about her own wedding where she got " nothing' while her younger sister is getting much more as the family has improved its finances. She fulfills her responsibility by checking  on her  family  constantly through her mobile ensuring her control and concern . Rohit, the brother, is in love with a Christian girl and is questioned .."why not a girl from our own caste? The mother , Amma is a bundle of nerves with the arrangements for the wedding and is also the peacemaker and the cause of kitchen fights with the maid servant . The father is best ignored for living in the past. Radhabai the maidservant has her own battles -  dark nightmares of her past . A delightful youngster has a crush on  Hema !!

Each member of the family  has a secret  which is unraveled and then  left  to speculation and conjecture . "Each snapshot of the album shows its members frozen in a contemporary projection of respectability but beneath that is a double image, with a penumbra of a hidden life." As the stories unravel the stereotype  is broken .   Lillete Dubey has choreographed the movements in an inventive suggestive set encompassing the outdoor and the indoor .The actors are well attuned to their characters and play them with froth  and with ease ensuring punctuation of good laughs .  

WEDDING ALBUM CREDITS 

 Playwright : Girish  Karnad

Director :      Lillette Dubey

Assistant Director- Ira Dubey

Cast
Appa and Mahadevappa - Utkarsh Mazumdar
Amma - Neena Kulkarni
Vidula Nadkarni - Ira Dubey
Rohit Nadkarni - Rajev Paul
Hema Nadkarni - Suchitra Pillai
Gopal Sirur & Internet Cafe Manager - Amar Talwar
Vatsala Sirur & Pratibha Das - Deepika Amin
Radhabai - Seema Azmi
Vivan - Armaan Sunny
Ashwin Panje & Cafe Youth - Raaghav Chanana
Credits
Original Music Score: Mahesh Tinaikar
Lighting Designer: Inaayat Sami
Set Designer: Lillete Dubey & Bhola Sharma
Costume Designer: Trishna Popat
Photography- Natasha Hemrajani
Backstage and Props - Smita Shetty
Artwork: Kartik Ramachandran (Twism Design Productions)

 

 

Editor: Manohar Khushalani

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