A ‘Double Bill’ of tears and laughter
Manipal: Aaina Dramatics, the dramatics club of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) held its first center-stage production for the semester, Double Bill that comprised of two plays, “Bali and Shambu” and “The Outlaws” at the MIT Library Auditorium here on August 20.
Directed by Saman Khan and Khushveer Sharma, the first play, Bali and Shambu, opened with the introduction of Shambu, who is watching his daughter, Titli dance. It is later revealed that it was a figment of his imagination. Shambu is portrayed as a quiet, elderly person living in an old-age home who is stuck in the past. He has a very monotonous existence until the introduction of his roommate, Bali in his life. Bali is a happy-go-lucky, talkative alpha who lives life to the fullest and his meeting with Shambhu is akin to the collision of two worlds.
A tinge of humour was felt throughout the play with Bali’s caricature-like actions. His comical and innocent infatuation towards Jhilmil, the doctor at the old-age home, the clashes of the two elderlies and a misunderstanding involving the servant, Gautam seeing the two in an awkward position tickled the audience at several instances.
Bali consequently opens up to Shambu, telling him how he was isolated by his own son and had to come to the old-age home. Conversely, Shambu tells his own tragic story of how his daughter, Titli disobeyed him and eloped with Shubhankar and later died in an unfortunate accident.
The climax was heartbreaking as Shambu passes away in an unexpected yet peaceful death. The play drew its curtains with Bali impersonating Shambu in an emotional meeting with Shubhankar.
The second play, The Outlaws was directed by Khushi Goenka and Shashank Jha and was a light-hearted entertainer. It commenced with a young woman, Jill introducing her fiancé Michael to her grandparents, Henry and Beth. Michael is an industrious, religious and straightforward fellow and a soon to be Minister at the Church. His ideologies are contradicting to that of Henry’s, a regular drinker who is barely religious. The entire play is riddled with funny implications, be it Henry’s sense of humour, the blooming romance between the old couple or the plan to sabotage Jill and Michael’s marriage by Henry and his son-in-law, Dick.
The comedy reaches its zenith when the two families meet in an awkward situation when the couple is eloping to Las Vegas. After a cat-and-mouse chase, the family decides that it is best for them to accept the couple. The audience was given one final dose of laughter when the religious Michael enjoys his first sip of alcohol during the climax.
The event drew a large crowd and was nearly a full house show. It concluded with the members of Aaina Dramatics, including the cast and crew coming on stage and receiving the crowd’s applause.
Edited by Shivani Singh
Featured Image Courtesy: Harleen Kaur