Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mumbai Monologues Are Universal Monologues

Excellent! Recommended! - Just seen "Mumbai Monologues" at TAPAC theatre, Western Springs, Auckland.  Only one more performance left as I write this: Sun 16 Feb 2014 at 4pm.  Directed by Ahi Karunaharan and Padma Akula who stage 8 stories with live music and song including original compositions.  

"Nisha" played by Monica Mahendru is a single woman trying to make sense of the dating scene.  Mirroring this is a male point of view performed by Raj Singh in "Mumbai Nights".  Both gave us a mix of poignancy and comedic observation. In "Tension Nehi Lene Ka", Tina Pan plays a tourist to Mumbai trying to cope on a crowded train well played by the ensemble.  In "The Pitch", Nona Shedde plays a professional woman handling a job interview with great bravado then afterwards sharing her vulnerability with us.  A universal theme here of the loss of job security for many - this could be any business professional anywhere with career and status hanging by a thread.  A different angle comes from "Wish You Were Here" where younger characters feel jaded rather than insecure with their bright "glitzy" life.

"Mumbai Monologues" is part of the Queer@TAPAC festival and offers 3 queer-themed pieces.  In "Adrift" we meet Natasha played by Anya Banerjee, a young woman now living in NZ who is coming to terms with her bisexuality.  In "Section 377", Faisal, a heterosexual character, played by Aman Bajaj, laments how his best friend who happens to be homosexual is effectively exiled by India's anti-homosexuality laws. In "Memories", Emma, played by Anita Crisinel tells the story of her wonderful childhood friend who turned against Emma out of intolerance when they grew up.

A universal journey through more than Mumbai.  Presented with passion, skill and craft.

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