The Fate of a Cockroach is a one of a kind play that draws parallels between two worlds — that of the human and cockroach. The thought provoking play penned by Tawfik Al-Hakim, a prominent Egyptian writer, transports the audiences from a bathroom floor where cockroaches rule to a hard working middle class couple’s morning ritual! Salmin Sheriff, the director of the play delves deeper…
The play which will be presented in two acts, deals with relevant topics of today. “The first act shows us the lives of cockroaches where they have their own king, queen, advisor and administrator who are unable to solve problems because they tend to only think of themselves,” explains the director. “Much like us, they are governed by unqualified and selfish people who have no empathy and concern towards others and put themselves first. That is the parallel we draw between both the worlds,” adds Salmin, who also plays a small role in the play.
“It’s quite challenging, so I don’t usually direct and act at the same time. But during the process, I ask the actors for their feedback which helps a lot. And before we put up the show, we invite a set of people to watch it and give us their feedback which helps improve our performances,” reveals the director who has been in theatre for 30 years!
In the life of the middle class couple, the husband stars relating to the cockroach’s struggle and neither his wife, nor the family doctor can liberate him from his pact. Ameet Bhuvan, the actor who plays the role of the so-called ‘guru’ cockroach gives us some inputs on his character.
“I pretend to know a lot more than I actually do which is quite comical,” he laughs, adding, “But in the second part, I play the role of the doctor who comes to help the couple during crisis. The doctor is a general physician who is studying psychiatry only as a hobby. But then he gets this opportunity to try out everything he has learnt about in a practical scenario, but eventually gets his foot stuck in his mouth.”
The actor who has previously done plays such as Swami and Friends and Beyond the Bubble, has conducted a number of workshops alongside Salmin, which is how the two met! “I’ve been in the field for around three years now and have wanted to work with Salmin for a long time. He has done a good job of not letting the play get into slapstick mode, underlining the existential questions and nuances in a subtle way,” adds Ameet.
The Fate of a Cockroach is definitely going to leave a huge impact on the audience, according to the director. “The audience should get set to laugh their guts out! Everything from situational, slapstick, satirical and even a little bit of dark humour will give you a slice of life and ask some thought-provoking questions that are sure to get your brain ticking much after the play is over,” says Salmin enthusiastically.
The play will be performed at the Jagriti Theatre in Whitefield from September 23 to October 2. Catch it at 8 pm on September 23 and 24.