The Madras Players’ Making It A Habit is about a group of nuns who try to put up a show for the first time
AS MUSICIAN AND theatre artiste Yohan Chacko takes to stage with his third directorial, Making It A Habit, his attempt will be to break a certain stereotype — that all nuns are serious and lead lives devoid of any fun or laughter.
“People think that nuns are very serious in nature, and that they don’t sing or dance or laugh. In truth, they are human beings just like everyone else, who has a lighter side to them,” begins Yohan, whose last directorial was The Madras Players’ Man From Earth.
The musical comedy, also produced by The Madras Players, revolves around a group of nuns who attempt to put up a show for the public. “The play is loosely based on a story I had read long ago. I dug a lot to find the old script and worked on it to come up with this. It’s a play within the play and the nuns here are all amateur artistes who are trying to put something together for the first time. As any amateur production would go, things go wrong. That’s when the comedy begins. As the errors start piling one on top of the other, they try their best to salvage the situation,” shares Yohan, who is also a dentist by profession.
The 90-minute-long production that uses both tracks as well as live music, has over 15 songs written for it. Apart from the seven nuns (played by Deepa Nambiar, Amrita Frederick, Sumitha Menon, Sharanya Gopinath, Anu Bhaskararaman, Shruti Prabhakaran, Mrittika Chattopadhyay) and a brother (Kiran Thomas), musicians Jeremiah Christopher (piano) and Jonathan Titus (bass guitar) will be joined by Yohan (Cajon) to work the live music.
“Casting is really important in a musical, mainly because there is a lot of singing and dancing involved, and you need people who can pull that off. I got exactly who I wanted, which made it a lot easier. As with any musical, the tough part was to figure out how much orchestration you need. Like in every play, words are the most important part here and the music should only be used to augment it. So the hard part was to choose the right voices that can be heard over the music that is being played in the background,” he adds.
Talking further about the advantages of the use of minimal costume and set design, Yohan explains how it will help the audience focus. “There isn’t much you can do in terms of costumes here since all the characters are nuns. They will all be wearing the usual nun’s attire and will look like each other. It works in our favour here, because the audience won’t get distracted from the words, which is where all the humour lies. You can’t do a lot of physical comedy when you have nuns on stage. It’s all in the dialogues.”
Tickets from `300 onwards. 7.15 pm. February 14,15,16 at Museum Theatre.