Monday, April 23, 2007

....and now, the weather report from Anuradha Abraham.

Hello there,

Hope all of you are feeling good in body mind and soul . The weather is so masth one is feeling good and appreciative of Bengalooru ever so much more. I have been reading news about the most recent shows in Kerala and getting updated on infro from KT in K.pally, Hilarious stuff. He is itching to do some more plays so watch out . Tommy whre are the scripts. Buck up ............):):):

Some news on the international front. Sheila Nagraj is visiting US of A soon. Jayantho is comming to India and is there for a nephews wedding and has no time to see anyone this time.

Yes let us meet up soon at Dewaars yaaaaaars. Take care,


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Avara on the Trichur Show and H O D's gone mad.

We done this show of ART in Trichur and I've been telling every one that this show definately deserves a space in this Gnatak blog.Yeah this is how it started.

A certian Mr Vasudevan Pillai reknpwnwd critic and theatre personality of Kerala who was also the ex H O D of the School Of Drama- Trichur saw our show at Trinvandrum and felt that we deserved to perform at the School of Drama. Yes I was very Impressed. So when the oppturnity came Trough the reccomendation Of this reknowned gentleman we are invited to perform fat the School Of Drama as a part of their World Theatre Day celeberations. Very impressed again.

We reach Trichur on the day of the show take an auto and start searching for the school of drama. After a reasonably long search we suddenly see this guy - It wasn't the Blue and Yellow and Black pyjama he was wearing that made him look different from the normal mentally deranged person that you see on the road, nor was his blue velvet shiet with red frills nor was the bell on his hands and legs nor the Dark glasses the bandana and cap but it was the Camcoder in one had and the gutiar in the other that set him apart.

We find our way to the School of Drama and we find this Man there He comes up to me and says " So your Abraham I've been reading the mail you been sending us" and I'm confused. So was Mike and Harvey and Loki. So we make it to the canteen for the usal Chai and cigerette and this guy is there so we make discreet enquires and find out that this guy is the H O D of the School. Very Impressed.

Any way we move to the space where we are to perform and begin to set up and we are told that the H O D is retiring and was being formally send off with all honours a University would send off a H O d and our performance was a part of this formal send off. Ver very impressed and touched.So we ask for the stage and lights to be set up and we leave for lunch get back to the hall at 5 for our 7 Oclock performance.

We come in and on the stage are these dignatories Departments heads Old students and who ever deserves to be on the Dias to send of a H O D. There are these solemn send off speaches and this huge heavy solemn air during these send off when suddenly there is this shout of "Rage" from the dias which is echoed by shouts from the audience soon these shouts become more and more frequent and soon there is this shouting match between this well dressed man with a gutiar on the dias and the audience - I dont Know who won. But most of the other solemn speaches were reduced to a " Mr H O d is a good man wish him well and Good bye".

Many shouting matches later students start singing praises to the H O D. They go ga ga over the fact that this Mr. H O D had managed to do away with what ever little disipline the department had. Until one moment when the H O D realised that the women hadn't spoken so he asks a few words from the women. One girl comes up with this sentimental story of her first visit to the school and that she'd seen the H O d and she thought he was strange she went home and her father told her that the H O d was his friend and Died. Ever since she has this soft corner for the H O D. H O D is moved and immediately breaks into song he plucks his guitar as well as any 2 year old and sings "You are my unborn daughter" we are all moved.

When another girl stands up and says that alls not well because when this H O D or the other male lecturers teach they prefer to look at womens breasts rather than their faces. The guys in the hall are unimpressed and show their displeasure by throwing chairs. Soon there are two groups slanging pushing throwing chairs and a few punches into the air. Mr H O D breaks into song again " Fight Fight" He plays his gutiar - he actually cant play a gutiar and on occiations runs back stage to tell us so. to tell you the truth we had realised much earlier that he cant play the gutiar.

Any way thats that and many fights later we find a mango tree otside stripped of its leaves. I've been told that during the fight guys ran out of the hall climbed this tree and started biting off its leaves and ran back inside straight into the fight. Soon it was 8 O clock and we were to perform at 7 so we call some guys from the midst of the fight to set up our lights for us. we start setting up the fight disappears> H O D appears and wants to Know why there are no women in the play. Tommy has a hard time telling him why and we perform. 180 of the 200 odd people who would have seen the show went back home the fight was enough drama for them. Yes and we perform.

Personally I feel it was a good show. I'm not sure if Tommy agrees and I'm sure all the guys would be honoured if we were to be called to perform for the world theatre day celeberation at the School of Drama again. especially if the H O D is being send off.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Avara writes about the Cochin show & after.

Hi All.

OK guys the response for the Kochi shows have been tremendous. I was told that the Club was flooded with call enquiring about us. I'd met Sejoe from the entertainment committee and I'll tell you that Gnatak has a permanent venue at the Yacht Club when ever we do a show.

And now the bad news Mike's sister and her husband liked the show so much they asked if we could perform for the Rotary Club for their fund raising event. A sum of about 50,000 + expenses were mentioned but we have to confirm amongst ourselves first. Can we consider a new play if this amount is being paid to us.

But here’s just a thought I think the actors and the director and the crew have worked on this play for over a year I think we got Gnatak a bank balance. Why don’t we do a show or two to pay our selves? I think we deserve it so why not consider the show offered to us?

May be we can do one more show in Trichur. But we might have to wait for the leaves to grow back on the mango tree there. My cousin told me that during the fight suddenly guys ran out of the hall and started biting off leaves from the mango tree and when they had enough the ran back straight into the fight.

Any way here’s a thought seriously why don’t we do a show to pay ourselves? I'm sure we could all use the money.

So let’s get on the road again guys.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Deccan Herald Review - Friday, February 17, 2006.

Dynamics of relationship canvassed in ‘Art’

By Savitha G R

Day two of the Deccan Herald Theatre Festival had the audience laughing, clapping, even hooting. ‘Art’ by theatre troupe Gnatak, directed by Prakash Aswani, is the tale of three friends. One of them, Serge buys a piece of ‘art’, a white canvas, which sets off a debate between his friends, Yvan and Marc. There are extreme positions taken on art, modernity and classicism, apart from introspection into the very nature of friendship between the trio.

The play, written by Yasmina Reza, was ‘discovered’ by actor Sean Connery, and was translated into English by Christopher Hampton. ‘Art’ poses quite a challenge to the director in portraying the dynamics of relationships and the contradictions between friends. The actors, Michael Joseph who plays Marc, Rohit Dave, who plays Serge and K T Abraham, who plays Yvan play their parts well. The audience takes to Yvan “the fool” particularly well. But one wonders if, in the midst of all the humour, the pathos that Yvan portrays is lost. Yvan wants to conform, be Mr Nice Guy to both his friends, and play conciliator. He cannot have a strong opinion, an amoeba in the words of his friend Marc, and he knows it. It saddens him, but does it move the audience, one wonders.

The set design by Gerard Sequeira is stark and simple, in keeping with the theme.

There is a certain whiteness everywhere, even in the metaphor that Marc uses towards the end of the play (a man skiing down a white mountain with a white cloud in the background) and that was very much in keeping with the central theme, the white canvas too.

The way the spotlight (Lights by Sudhir Boury) keeps shifting on the three characters when they talk to the audience is interesting.

But at the end of the play, one cannot but wonder if this play had more to do with Yvan and less to do with the tensions between the characters.

The image of Yvan with a punched jaw, writhing in pain, lingers.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Indian Express Review of the show at The Cochin Yacht Club

Tuesday April 3 2007

Theatre Spells Magic

Kochi got a feel of the English Theatre when a translated version of Art - a French play by Yasmine Reza, a French playwright - was staged by Gnatak at the Cochin Yacht Club on Saturday. Gnatak is a theatre group from Bangalore.

The play, basically about the nature of male friendship, brought forth three contrasting characters who debate on a piece of art (a totally white picture worth 200,000 French Francs) bought by one of them.

Directed by Prakash Aswani, Art was enacted by K.T. Abraham, Michael and Rohit.

According to Aswani who works as a RJ for Radio Indigo, Bangalore, it is all about the sad, treacherous and comical dynamics of friendship.

‘‘Art debuted in France in 1994 and went on to win top theatre awards in both Britain and the US, including the 1998 Tony Award for Best play. It raises questions about the nature of art and friendship,’’ Aswani said.

Gnatak had staged this 90-minute play in Trivandrum - at the annual Surya festival last year - to a very inspiring gathering.

On Saturday, the Yacht Club was also witness to a motley crowd. And the actors, with an uncanny ability for dialogue-rendering, kept the viewers on their toes each time they held forth.

‘‘The way the play was appreciated went on to show people’s interest in genuine humour rather than usual slap stick comedy,’’ Aswani said.

Aswani and his team look forward to perform more of such intellectual dramas in the near future. ‘‘We hope to be back in Kochi soon. The audience here are amazing,’’ he said.