'Dekh Behen', 'The Verdict' and 'What Planet Are You On?' come to Chennai

A two-day theatre festival by AKVarious Productions showcasing three completely different plays will take you through myriad emotions
What Planet Are You On?
What Planet Are You On?

A play that has been running for five years, but has been to Chennai only once in the past; another which is three years old, but has found inroads to the city only now; and yet another, which opened last November at the Prithvi Theatre Festival, and is all set to be staged in Chennai for the first time — three different plays, three different subjects, being staged at one venue as part of a two-day theatre festival.

Dekh Behen, an all-female cast and crew will take you on an 80-minute hilarious ride with comic content and timing. The play, which has been written by Tahira Nath and Dilshad Edibam; and directed by Shikha Talsania and Prerna Chawla, has had over 100 shows across seven cities. “Dekh Behen is one of our biggest hits,” says Akarsh Khurana of AKVarious Productions, who has produced all the three plays and also directed two of them — What Planet Are You On? and The Verdict.

The plot of Dekh Behen revolves around an evening at a wedding sangeet where five bridesmaids hang out together in a room. They catch up on life, and through their conversation, the audience realises that none of them actually like the bride! “A lot of things are heightened during a wedding. Emotions run high, there is that much more fun and a lot of what we call hulchul around. That was the reason why a wedding was a nice place to set the plot in,” says Tahira, one of the writers of this play.

<em>Dekh Behen</em>
Dekh Behen

The title, she further tells us, was picked up from these ‘dekh behen’ memes doing the rounds around the time the play was being written. “There is a bond of sisterhood which exists between friends, and my co-writer Dilshad and I wanted to capture that spirit. And since it is a light-hearted take on everything, this particular ‘dekh behen’ meme just fit perfectly as the title,” Tahira says.

What Planet Are You On? on the other hand, is about a boy who has ADHD, being brought up by his understanding mother, and how he learns to live with it in the happiest way possible. “I wanted to do something which is directly relevant to a lot of kids today. However evolved things are, it’s very important for parents and teachers to be cognizant of the fact that ADHD is quite prevalent and one has to be sensitive towards it,”says Akarsh, who has also written it.

The most serious of the lot is The Verdict. Based on a novel with the same name by Barry Reed, Akarsh adapted the story into a completely Indian context. It’s about a very well-meaning but down-and-out lawyer who gets an easy case, by which he can make some good money, but in a moment of an awakening of conscience, he realises that there are many flaws in the system. He then sets out to fight the odds to get justice for his clients. This two-hour long play is a gripping courtroom drama.

<em>The Verdict</em>
The Verdict

The three plays are a part of the inaugural edition of the Mutha Theatre Club which is being set up to nurture new talent.

The Verdict – February 11. 7 pm
What Planet Are You On? – February 12. 10.30 am
DekhBehen – February 12. 6.30 pm.

At Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall.

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