This weekend saw two comic 10-minute short play series being staged in the city. Four play by Dramanon featured four short skits on the common theme of love and betrayal. Manch Theatre’s The Fireworks was a compilation of playwright Alex Broun’s five short plays paying tribute to the writer. Alex Broun, who is often hailed as the “Shakespeare of short plays” was a clear favourite among both the groups since two of Dramanon’s plays were also by Broun. One of them, Fate’s Steady Hands, where an employee confides in his boss, about his growing affection for his wife, was performed by both the groups. And both of them worked in their own ways.
While Manch Theatre’s rendition of the play was localised, Dramanon stuck to the original script, which left the audience in splits. But that being said, when a play is borrowed from a different culture, adaptations are often inevitable. “We didn’t change much in Alex Broun’s scripts but the rest of the plays were Indianised to a certain extent. For example, one of the plays called The Date is originally based in Australia and has a cowboy coming to a city to meet a girl on a date. But we changed it to this rustic Bengali man meeting a woman on a blind date. We also added a few sentences here and there to make it more contextual,” adds R.K. Shenoy, director of Dramanon.
Manch Theatre had personally got in touch with Broun, seeking his consent for adapting the plays. Romit Bhatia, a member of the group says, “We had performed his plays earlier so we got in touch with him and he gladly agreed to the idea. I think especially in the case of a comedy, a director must take special care to adapt the play so that the essence of the original play remains unchanged.”