Bigamy Boomerang Thursday, 9 April, 2009Posted by ~uh~™ in Theatre.
Tags: Amir razaa Hussain, Bigamy, Humour, Mumbai, One into two, Peter Season, Play
Clinical Approach (or formal introduction)
Its not that frequently one gets to see a play by a Padmasharee Playwright & Director, in a premier show, by invitation, in a 5 star hotel, on a Sunday evening, with wife, with cocktail dinner, free. And if that “one” is I, & the play is an absolutely different experience altogether, MS gets a new topic mouthpadded by a well-wisher, as she claimed her requests get accepted faster. After 48 hours I see chintu25 was right.
This is a review of the Play called “One into Two” directed/ acted by Padmashree Amir Razaa Hussain & Virat Hussain.
Duration: 90 minutes, 2 Acts
Story background- London, present time
Original story by- Peter Season
John Smith is a London cabbie who works in two shifts. But he is not a normal taxi driver. He maintains two wives at two different homes. The first wife is Mary with whom he lives in Wimbledon. His second apartment is in at Statham where he stays with his second wife Barbara. Interestingly, he successfully manages to live in two homes with two wives for quite sometime, three years to be precise! He actually does not need to drive a cab to earn his livelihood. He mostly uses he cab to drive from Statham to Wimbledon & vice versa to switch between late night & early morning shifts. The pocket money he gets from his working wives & money earned from few odd trips in his cab is good enough for him to manage his sundry expenses. After spending the Sunday night with Mary at Wimbledon he drives to Statham, which is quite nearby. After sleeping the day over in Statham & spending the evening, his “Monday night shift” for Wimbledon starts. He maintained a pocket diary with precise timing for each day of the week with different shifts for different days for his two wives (Garam Masala anyone?). He used abbreviations like MMWM- Monday morning with Mary & ACDB- A cuddly Wednesday with Barbara etc & followed them meticulously.
Things were just fine till the day John met an accident & were hospitalized for a night. Some goons hired his cab & later an old lady, whom hit John on his forehead with her bag (mistaking him as one of the goons). The problem starts when he was escorted by a Police sergeant (lets call him S1) to his Wimbledon house.
The show starts with his wives making calls to Wimbledon & Statham police stations respectively & reporting a missing complaint for their husbands- John Smith who were missing since late evening till morning 9 AM. Both Mary & Barbara was seriously worried knowing their husband being a man of extreme discipline & punctuality.
The problem gets complicated further when another S1ergeant intimates him that the address of John Smith in the hospital is registered as Satham & not as Wimbledon. The story gets thicker by involving his Jolly good bachelor neighbour Stanley Gardener, who while trying to be a well-wisher gets entangled in the alibi attempts of John. Meanwhile another Sergeant (S2) appears from Statham police station to check about the hospitalized Statham John Smith whose address is reported as Wimbledon in the police station.
Extreme confusion prevails when a local evening daily publishes a front-page story with the mug-shot of John Smith. John actually shreds a newspaper & eats it to cover it up. Utter insanity leads to absolute pandemonium, resulting a laughter marathon.
Naturally, to defend his secrecy bigamist John starts lying. However, he takes Stanley the bachelor into his confidence. One lie after another by John & Stanley & the whole mess spread from Wimbledon to Statham. Here are few examples what they lies to Mary, Barbara, S1 & S2 at different situations-
1. Stanley Gardener is a farmer who provided shelter to John after the mishap.
2. The farmer has problems like bent cucumbers, Bulls attacking the cows etc.
3. When John said, “bag” she meant “an old lady”.
4. There is actually two John Smiths, one is the passenger & another is the cabbie.
5. Stanley is actually the other John smith, husband of Mary.
6. Stanley is the son of Barbara & John who is in school.
7. Mary is actually Sister Mary, a nun – depressed because of lack of sex in her life.
8. Barbara is actually a boy who is a cross dresser, loves to act like female.
9. Barbara is the maid of the house who is fussy & somewhat insane.
10. John is actually a gay & uses his apartment at Statham with Stanley for such purpose.
11. Both of Barbara’s parent’s dies in a mountaineering trip, though they are both paralytic & are on wheel chairs.
During the play some hilarious metaphor’s emerged too, few examples
To enhance married life couples should have daylong sex, once in a while. S2 suggested this & revealed that he has a nickname “pussy” for those days.
The transgendered neighbour of Barbara thought there’s an orgy being planned seeing two gays, one cross dresser & one sex-starved nun.
Stanley Gardener – Amir Raza Hussain: He is just awesome. He is spontaneous, hilarious & just pulled the entire play as an anchor with Virat. I have not experienced any of his earlier works one of the most famous one is based on Hindu mythology. Clearly, he is a man of immense talent on & off stage. He co-directed the show with Virat while playing one of the most important roles. His timing, delivery, accent & superbly placed hilarious innuendos brought the Mickey out of the audience. Clearly he creates “good theatre”.
John Smith- Virat Husaain: How does a bigamist look? Shaken, stirred, extremely unconfident & lier. The problem with lying is one has to remember whom he has lied & when. Virat has a heavy physique & contradictorily meek character personality
The names were announced after the play & I could not remember all then names.
Barbara- I found her to be extremely natural as a worried innocent wife.
S1- He was the strictest character & his last scenes with pussycop at Statham was
S2- This is the guy who was in a short role in Lage Raho Munnabhai, remember the baldish guy whom Munnabhai hanged upside down outside his office balcony? He is absolute pleasure as Pussy.
The gay neighbour- He is the “gay” relief in the otherwise unhappy incidents in Barbara’s life. I was almost convinced that he is actually a transgendered species.
The set was a simple living with one sofa and couple of tables, chairs and two telephones. The living room was divided into two represent both the houses. The most noticeable part was when parallel incidents were enacted in both the living rooms, especially the phone conversations. The synchronizations were superb. It was as good as watching a split screen movie.
This play is not a slapstick comedy, rather a tongue in cheek with numerous insinuations to enjoy and laugh out loud.
For those who are not into bigamy this is a must. For those into bigamy can remember this quote ” Bigamy comes with a cruel punishmen; two mother in laws”.
PS: The play is not commercially released yet. I happened to be an invitee of the show at The Taj Lands End on Sunday 28 Oct 2007 by Unitech (I must have done some subliminal good deed for them sometime), who was sponsor of the show & the dinner.