Play Review – Ek Haan – Rating 4 stars
What the play is about?
The play is based on the story of the notorious life and times of the most influential writers of his time, Saadat Hasan Manto, showcasing the socio-political and emotional turmoil of the pre and post-independence era. The play premise dwells on an Indian journalist advocating the society against Manto’s writing style and his stories which shock the readers. But who is this pretty journalist? Is she here for any revenge or to complete her untold story?
In an era where theatre groups resort to entertainment gimmicks like shock value, farcical comedies – Ek Haan comes as a refreshing whiff of fresh air with its intellectual story-telling. The comedy is subtle, the entertainment value is under-played. It is a play which caters to the intelligent, elite crowd who are wowed with the sheer dynamics of excellent acting, a verbose dose of Urdu and some good music.
As a theatre critic, the play didn’t leave me with a ‘thinking effect’ or something you would normally take back as a discussion board. The pace is murdered with the jail sequence (which although had some brilliant acting performances) that didn’t sync well with the story-telling mode.
Since loads of articles and a full-fledged film on Manto has been released, one expected a dramatic, thought-provoking dialogue. Somehow it went amiss.
On the acting front, Shekhar Suman excels (do read the separate review). Suchitra Krishnamoorti comes out of her ‘Drama Queen’ persona with perfect ease. The layering of her characters offer her tremendous potential to showcase her talent. Writer-actor Neha Kargeti performs well. The writing, especially the dialogues were commendable but could be more punch-worthy and thought-provoking.
Director Randhir Ranjan Roy smooth-sailed with a seasoned actor like Shekhar Suman, who has diversified from his trademark acting skills. The lighting effect is amazing, so are the melodies (vocals by Rekha Bhardwaj and Shahid Mallya). Panache Media surely has a winner at the international market who would enjoy the concept.
#AryemanSaysSo – Overall, a once-watch for seasoned performances.
Cast of the Play: