ADA Dramatics Stages Psychological Thriller, ‘Panic Room’3 min read
MANIPAL: ADA Dramatics, the theatre club of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) presented an adaptation of a psychological thriller, ‘Panic Room’, for their first stage production this academic year, at ECE Foyer in AB-5 on September 1.
The story began with a scene of Peter, who injected himself with drugs. His friend, Tony, later joins him, and the two play video games and drink alcohol. Their game was interrupted by Hannah, who showed up unannounced with a bottle of scotch as a birthday present for Tony, her ex.
The character Hannah is seen dancing with Peter after a few drinks. || Photograph Courtesy: Ritwika Sarkar
The next morning, while trying to wake Hannah up, Tony discovers blood at the back of her head. In a flurry of panic, he checks her pulse only to not find one. || Photograph Courtesy: Ritwika Sarkar
Tony panicked at the scene and tried to call the police, but he was instantly shut down by Peter. Peter convinced Tony that the only sensible thing to do is hide the body, when all of a sudden, they heard a knock on the door, leading to the introduction of Ruth, Hannah’s friend.
Ruth’s persistent nature does not take no for an answer when Peter and Tony try to stop her from coming into the house. She entered the house, found her friend’s phone, traces of blood, and finally Hannah’s body in the bathroom.
Terrified, she tried to run out of the house to call the police when, much to the audience’s shock, Peter grabbed her and sliced her neck.
Peter and Tony trying to stuff Ruth’s dead body into a suitcase in order to hide it. || Photograph Courtesy: Ritwika Sarkar
While the two attempt to hide Ruth’s body, out came Hannah. Upon seeing Ruth’s body, Hannah tried to call the police but is threatened by a knife-wielding Peter. He tried to attack her when he suddenly crumbled to the floor, being stabbed in the knee with a pair of scissors by Tony. He then proceeded to stab Peter several times in the heart.
Hannah revealed that she had planned all of this—anticipated every single move—from her ‘dying’ to Tony killing Peter, all because she wanted to get revenge on Tony for breaking up with her all those years ago. || Photograph Courtesy: Ritwika Sarkar
Tony stabbed Hannah with a pair of scissors. Now, seriously injured, she revealed to Tony that the scotch she had brought had been poisoned and he was going to have a slow and painful death. || Photograph Courtesy: Ritwika Sarkar
The story ended with Peter waking up from his drug-induced dream and hears a knock on the door, just as he had in the beginning.
The play was captivating and designed to keep the audience engaged till the very end. The climax and the ambience created by it left everyone surprised. Savita Shastri, a local resident and well-known theatre enthusiast said, “I just sat back and enjoyed it. The general production value has increased over the years, the coordination was much better this time.”
“It was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I have done drama before but this was completely different. In the end, I think there were some issues, but I am very happy with how it turned out,” said Kaushiki Brahma, who played Ruth.
“We changed the ending. The original ending had Peter simply waking up. The idea came from one of our crew members. When he read the script, he thought Peter was high and so we thought why not include his trip in it and then repeat the same processes,” revealed Shantanu Sachdeva, one of the directors of the play.
Milind Purohit, a second-year student from Manipal Institute of Communication (MIC) said, “It was really good. The only issue that I had was that the playwright was not mentioned anywhere, which I think should have been done. Otherwise, the play was brilliant, especially the juggle with the lights and sound. It was a fun experience.”
Featured Image Courtesy: Ritwika Sarkar
Edited by: Nayanatara Jacob