A new play questions the honesty of reality shows on television

Ayesha Tabassum Published :  27th April 2018 06:00 AM   |   Published :   |  27th April 2018 06:00 AM

A scene from the play

How real can reality TV get? Would this reality be true to all that happens in real life or is it fabricated? Questions such as these and others that make one ponder over the validity of reality shows will be raised in the new play Crazy Girls - Season 1 that premieres in the city next week.
An adaptation of the 1999 German play Creeps by Lutz Hubner, this play in Kannada is directed by Basav Biradar. “The late 1990s was the period in Europe when reality TV had started. Last year when I met Lutz, he said it was interesting to see how TV channels wanted real people but didn’t want their reality to be shown. Instead, they wanted to present drama that was created by provocation,” explains Basav, whose adaptation in Kannada is the story of three girls.

Host with the most
The girls are asked by a channel to send their videos for a reality contest to select a show host. All the three think that each ofthem has already won. Only when they arrive at the studio, they realise that there is one more round of auditions. A voice asks them questions and makes them do all the tasks. The girls are provoked with every task. 

Eventually they realise that they are not selected and that they were conned into it just to shoot a trailer for the show. But at the end, the girls are offered a monetary reward for their work. “Whether the girls accept the payment or not, that’s the question here. It is a comment on how sometimes everything is not about money,” offers Basav who had directed a dramatic reading of this play in English last year.

Since then, he had been interested to stage the play and once his grant was approved by the Goethe Institut, Basav got to work by researching Kannada reality TV shows and the ‘pop culture’ among young people in small towns. “The play is also about how such shows encourage one to be a voyeur, the voyeurism of seeing people’s ugliness,” he says. The play’s sets too have been designed keeping in mind how these reality shows are in fact so unreal. There is also use of a TV projection that shows huge crowds of people gathered for auditions.

The three characters include  an urban girl from Bengaluru, one from North Karnataka and the other from coastal Udupi. “At some level the play also discusses the politics of identity within the state,”signs off Basav.

Rs 200. May 5 & 6. At Max Mueller Bhavan, Indira Nagar