Masquerade-The Performance Group's latest production, Houdunnnit promises an evening of laughter with a hint of suspense
After a brief gap (their last play Parrot’s Lies was staged in March last year), Masquerade-The Performance Group, one of the oldest theatre (since 1994) groups in the city is back with their latest. Titled Houdunnit, the act is a compilation of three short comic thrillers.
“I’m not someone who does one production a month. I’m at a stage in my career where there is no compulsion to produce something to show the public. If something simulates me and I find the right actors for it, I will go ahead with it,” says veteran thespian Krishna Kumar S, the director. The production lasting 90-minutes will feature three short stories-two of them adapted to stage from Tamil writers Sujatha Rangarajan and Indira Parthasarathy and the third written by Bangalore-based writer Gautam Raja.
“Each story is unique and lasts for about 15-30 minutes. They are light-hearted tales with a slight tone of mystery in it. Because of the thriller element, we wanted to title the play, ‘Who done it’. Since one of the three stories involves an illusionist, we played around the title and called it Houdunnit, inspired after (Harry) Houdini, the magician,” shares Krishna.
While one of the stories follow an incident when an illusionist calls an audience member on stage to perform a demo, the second story features a young couple who come across a series of mysterious incidents happening at home. The third act, however, is a monologue by a housewife who shares her thoughts on her new refrigerator and how people at her house react to it. The eight-member cast for the production has actors such as Shakila Arun, Dileep Rangan T, Dhiraj Athreya, Shubh Mukherjee, among others. “The whole act doesn’t flow with a single narrative. There are short gaps to change the settings between each of them. The title is the only thing that connects the stories together,” says Krishna, who also plays a character in the production.
With the characters performing in contemporary everyday clothes, Krisha says, except for what is required for the story, his productions do not carry any additional settings.
“The set for this act is kept very minimal. This is a simple and straightforward production that doesn’t need live music or an actual backdrop. We are staging the act in an intimate theatre setting with props and accessories such as table and chairs that are absolutely necessary for the narrative,” he adds.
Entry at `200
February 2 at 5 pm
At Alchemy Black Box, Adyar