Al Mulla, the leading and fastest growing Exchange Company in Kuwait, staged ‘One on One’, a series of humorous vignettes on life in India by renowned Indian theatrical group, Rage Theatres. The invitation-only event was held at the American International School auditorium on the evening of 29 August, 2014. Al Mulla Exchange, with its large and growing base of loyal customers, has been staging performances by artists from different countries as part of their customer outreach program.
These cultural shows, seen as an oasis of entertainment in Kuwait, are eagerly awaited and attended by large gatherings of the Exchange’s customers. ‘One on One’, the most recent show staged by Al Mulla Exchange, featured leading Indian stage artist Rajit Kapur and a host of acclaimed theatre personalities, in six short plays that strung together a jumble of antidotes for cynicism in India.
“Our musicians have made their mark internationally and dance is also moving in that direction, but when it comes to new writing for theater and listed productions, I think we still have a long way to go to make our mark on the international scene,” says Mr. Kapur best known for having won the National Film Award for Best Actor in 1995, and for his portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in ‘The Making of the Mahatma’. In ‘Hello… Check’, one of the six plays, Anu Menon aka (VJ) Lola Kutty, as ever got under the skin of her character and poignantly brings out her hopes to climb to a higher rung in the social ladder.
“I think everyone bumps into people like her,” Menon stated, “good hearted and good intentioned people, who want their chance to shine.” What would happen if the ghost of a Chief Minister’s bodyguard after his death would meet the mortals? ‘Kachre Ki Hifazat’ justifies the motive and the message of the play bewitchingly as actor Rajit Kapur plays the bodyguard. It appears it no longer suffices to be aware of the ears that walls have, if you cannot help being corrupt by default; you have to be aware that lampposts too have ears and eyes.
In ‘Load Shedding’, a Worli lamppost, played compellingly by Anand Tiwari, the lamppost sheds light on what is happening in the city of Bombay. The post reveals how things that appear nice on paper are ridden with corruption, and everyone is out to get their piece of the pie. In the satirical and humorous ‘Job Interview’, a Parsi gentleman, played by Sohrab Ardeshir, leaks out his twitching sense of hysteria as he goes for an interview to be an airline pilot.
There is a saying for Hollywood aspirants that ‘You have to sell your soul to the devil’ to get anywhere in Hollywood; it sits well in the Bollywood context too. Although a familiar story; two people coming from small towns to the big city of Bombay; familiar struggle of finding and losing oneself in the jumble, the play ‘Abudana’ successfully strikes the chords of the audience.
The account of inedible airplane food might seem too bland, but Kapur again, in ‘Dear Richard’, gave the audience a laugh a minute with this adamant joker of a character who tipped over being frumpy at the sheer dissatisfaction for the food he got. Plays like ‘One on One’ and several more in the past have entertained the audience in Kuwait.
Under Al Mulla Exchange’s sponsorship, Rage Theatre Group has performed in Kuwait before. A very positive thing is that since the previous performance, a lot of younger talent have stepped into the theatre arena, which is definitely a good sign, such encouragements by Al Mulla Exchange provides a platform to such artists.