Bangaluru: It’s not everyday that you can watch a play about objectification of women and have a good time. But the crew of C Sharp C Blunt has cleverly devised a satirical and even funny play to symbolise the objectification of women in the society, through an app that the audience can “use.” Theatre performer and singer, MD Pallavi from Bengaluru, plays the role of the interactive app. As the app, she sings, dances and behaves the way a woman is expected to. Pallavi almost carries the entire play on her shoulders, as she juggles the lead role and also does the voices of other characters. She pulls off a magnificent solo performance for almost 90 minutes.
“It’s a play about how women are treated in society. It’s also about the pre-conditions a woman is subjected to — what she should wear, how much she’s allowed to dream, how marriage is universal, how she’s born to nurture her family,” says, Rituparna Bhattacharya, who assisted Sophia Stepf in directing the play.
“Sophia is from Germany. She and Pallavi have known each other for a while. They put down their experiences and slowly everyone from the crew, including the writers, Swar Thounaojam, Irawati Karnik, added their experiences to form the script,” adds Rituparna, about the award-winning script.
The play that won the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards in three categories, best actress in lead role, best original script and best innovative sound, has travelled to many cities in India and abroad, including Singapore, Switzerland and Berlin, where they premiered. They are currently doing a five-city tour of Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and Cochin.
“Objectification of women is a world-wide phenomenon. But we have made some changes to make the script city-specific. For instance, when we performed in Switzerland, we included a bit about how women were given the right to vote only in 1991 there,” informs Pallavi, adding that people have received the play very well. “While it handles a serious topic, it’s not a fist-banging play that prescribes what you should or should not do. It’s a rather funny play. People are always laughing and there is also this interactive session with the audience, so it involves impromptu performances as well,” she says.
While the treatment of women is changing for the better in India, they believe the play remains relevant. “That’s why it doesn’t get boring no matter how many times we perform it,” says Pallavi, the former TV artiste. Although all the members of the crew are theatre artistes, they believe India is still not at a stage where a theatre person can depend on that alone for a living. “We all take up multiple projects. The sound designer, Nikhil Nagaraj, also does music recording for films. I do some teaching myself. But the future looks promising; a lot of youngsters are showing interest and there are plenty of original scripts coming to the fore,” says an optimistic Rituparna.
Watch the play at Ranga Shankara on April 16 at 7: 30 pm.