Friday, January 17, 2014

Lee Blessing's A Walk in the Woods at DUCTAC

The Indian adaptation of Lee Blessing's A Walk in the Woods returned to Dubai barely nine months after its last appearance in the city, and once again, for a single show night.

Leaving aside the half hour of technical difficulties delaying showtime, and the really annoying prolonged spiel before and after, the play itself was a perfect theatrical experience. Set in the context of contemporary Indo-Pakistani image games instead of the original Soviet-American Cold War, it follows the development of the "frenemy" relationship between two peace negotiators of different ages, cultures and career positions.

Sole cast members Naseeruddin Shah and Rajit Kapur have an excellent onstage chemistry and comedic timing, and play the endearing quirks of both characters to perfection. The execution of the play, directed by actor Ratna Pathak-Shah in her directorial debut, makes for a great study in body language and voice characterization. If the original version of the play were staged here here with as good a cast and crew, I would definitely attend.

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