Boardwalker’s adaptation of Steve Tesich’s Division Street is a hysterical tale of a confused ex-radical
It’s been a while since veteran theatre artiste Michael Muthu staged a play for his theatre group, Boardwalkers. After their last production, Birdcage in 2017, the company is back with Division Street - a wacky comedy, adapted from American-Serbian screenwriter and playwright Steve Tesich’s 1981 play.
“This is like a revival for us. We haven’t been doing plays for some time now. And we wanted to do a comedy, something that this generation hasn’t seen,” says Michael (Mike in theatre circles), the director, adding that the same play was staged in the city 15 years back at the Loyola Theatre Society.
“When we did the play for the first time, it was a college production. This time, I’m using seasoned actors for the flavour is a lot different. This is going to be a crispier version than last time. Otherwise, it’s the same madness and the same crazy characters. I feel the story will work better now because the time is just apt for it. When we did the play 15 years back, it was a little ahead of its time,” shares Mike, whose last outing was Mellow Circle's Christmas musical.
The play revolves around Krish, a former radical who has come to Chennai seeking obscurity. He wants to forget his activist past and start a career as a journalist. But after being photographed by the local press outside of a restaurant, his life is soon invaded by ex-comrades and friends who demand that he restart the revolution.
Featuring eight crazy characters including a former militant, a transexual cop, a loopy ex-wife, a former partner and a restaurateur, the 90-minute long adult comedy sees them finding themselves in impossible situations.
“We have localised Steve’s play because a lot of the references, especially the political scene and situations in the original play are from the 1980's America. We had to transpose everything into an Indian situation and fit it in the current times. All the characters are now Indian so it's now a play with Indian flavours,” adds Mike.
The cast includes theatre regulars like Sarvesh Sridhar, Yohan Chacko, Prashanth Oliver, Shravan Ramakrishnan along with Roshan Poncha, Sabnam Gafoor, Amit Singh and Shakila Arun (who was part of the play when it was staged for the first time). Set in 2019 Chennai, the actors will be in contemporary costumes and the set design, featuring two locations will show the inside of a house and the streets.
After Division Street, the Boardwalkers line-up of play includes Roald Dahl’s Big Friendly Giant and Willian Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
Tickets from `200 onwards.
For ages 17 and above.
21-22 September, 7.15 pm at the Museum Theatre.