"Love Letters" - Rage Productions

I sat down last night to write the review for the first ever play that I have seen. The immediate motive was to finish it before 11 AM next day and mail it across to Hindu. I was ranting on and on, realizing at the editing stage that the word limit is 200 words. After considerable and simultaneously discrete climb down, I came down to 202 words and send it across. Will put that too here once I get to know if it was published at all. So here goes my personal review without any word limits.

Whenever I try to initiate myself into something related to arts, I try to ensure that my first experience is impeccable; thus ensuring that I continue to maintain my relation with the art. After thinking on similar lines about "Love Letters", I decided to give it a shot. Last minute blues made us reach the venue, Ravindra Bharti, earlier than required, to get hold of the tickets. The journey to the place itself was eventful enough and merits a post of its own, which will be duly provided to it.

The ticket counter was tuck away in one corner of the premises and looked so shady that I thought it was selling tickets for the kind of movies we got acquainted to in college. Nevertheless, we bought the tickets and waited for the volunteers to permit entrance. Beginners' Luck was at its peak when we got the best seats available with our price of tickets and FREE SEATING being the norm.

The play started off by 3 announcements. One about audience reviews, second one requesting people from the media to refrain from using flash while taking photographs and also to not obstruct the audience' view while they are going about their job, third one was a very unique way of asking users to switch of their cell phones during the play.

Now about the play.

"Love Letters" is the story of two people, unfolding entirely through correspondences between them. Shernaz Patel plays Melissa Gardner, an insouciant girl born in a rich family. Her childhood and rearing is marred by her mother's promiscuous ways which have a disillusioning effect on Melissa. Andrew Makepiece Ladd III aka Andy is born to middle class parents who love and guide him in his formative years which ensuring he does not "stray away". Andy's father imbibes in him the habit of writing and Andy takes to it like a fish to water. Writing is his way of expressing his innermost feelings.

Andy falls in love with Melissa "at first sight" when he first sees her in 2nd standard. At that time she came across to Andy as a "lost princess in the Land of Oz". (Can I hear girls crooning "Cho Chweet"!). From then on starts a chain of letters which ends only with Melissa's death. The two share a love-hate relationship, fighting over the pettiest of matters and forgiving even the gravest of mistakes. The letters that they exchange are a very novel of giving us a view into their individual lives and into the way their relationship shapes up.

Andy and Melissa's relationship is too strange and personal to qualify for an accepted nomenclature. In times of distress, each comforts the other through his letters. Humor forms a very important part of the play and, in my opinion, is actually its high point. Some of the greatest insecurities of humans are depicted in equally light hearted ways. The humor is very witty and contemporary and loved by most. Andy's problem with erection when they try to make love during adolescence and both of them going on to share a physical relationship only at the age of 50 show that their relationship was founded on totally non-amorous grounds.

Andy with his "straight and safe" ways goes on to become a senator. Melissa, confused and disillusioned as ever, dabbles in various forms of arts to distract her mind. She resorts to smoking and drinking to drown the void caused by the lack of meaning and goals in her life.

Brilliant work by Rajit and Shernaz. They have been doing this play for the last 15 years. As nostalgically summed up by Rajit, "When we started performing this play 15 years back, our main concern was looking old in the second part. Now its the first part that worries us."

1 comment:

  1. Oh..Aish..seriously this is going to be one of the most memorable moments to cherish in my life at least. Truly said, that it was a great beggining for our love towards plays...!

    "journey to the place itself was eventful enough" LOL...hope you write all good things about the journey ;-)