Glue, a play depicting the life of street urchins, comes to the city
This new and original script by V Balakrishnan reflects on the consequences of inhaling sealants.
Glue, a play by Theatre Nisha, tells the story of Lehsun, a street urchin who is addicted to sniffing glue, which offers her an escape from the realities of life. The plot revolves around how the 13-year-old fights for survival, with the help of her friends, when the tentacles of the poisonous inhalant and her harsh life push her to the brink.
“This new and original script represents the lives of children living on the streets of our country. Glue is based on the kids who take to sniffing adhesives because it helps them forget about everything they are exposed to. Especially in the northern parts of India, during winters, you can see several kids finding solace in sniffing glue because it does not allow them to feel the cold. It does not allow them to feel hunger,” says V Balakrishnan, the playwright and director.
Bursting the bubble
The production reflects the consequences of inhaling sealants. The life-threatening habit picked up by many is associated with possible brain damage, severe breathing problems, blackouts, fatality and more. “When I was a student of the National School of Drama, I used to walk around the city a lot. At the time, I began observing these street kids who were out and about selling flowers and pens. These kids would pull out handkerchiefs and pour glue over them. Once they’d sniff the glue, their faces would have a very different look. They’d look dazed. I was intrigued about what they were trying to achieve out of it. But when I found out what the glue does and its detrimental qualities, I felt moved to write about it,” he says.
The production features five characters in addition to the protagonist — a woman named Kakdi with whom Lehsun works on the streets, Kakdi’s girlfriend Preeti who is an auto driver, Ganju, a friend of the lead character, and a police sub-inspector called Rehem. “Preeti is the one who takes interest in saving Lehsun from falling into this poisonous trap. She seeks help from Rehem and Kakdi to admit the adolescent to a rehabilitation home,” the writer reveals.
Age of innocence
Glue stars Preethi Bharadwaj, Shakthi Ramani, Shivangi Singh, Meera Sitaraman, Neeharika and Aparna Kumar. The director, expressing his concern, states, “although this play is about two young children, I did not think it was a good idea for children to play these characters. So we have senior actors playing the kids roles. We have a simple set and realistic costumes to help create this illusion.”
The theatre group will be staging the play for the first time in Bengaluru. “The greatest challenge was to translate reality into heightened reality on stage, without losing its essence. With the kind of love the Bengaluru audience has for good theatre, I am sure that people will come in and engage with this story. We hope that the play will lead to some sort of a dialogue in our social system,” he shares before signing off.
₹200. On September 17 and 18. At Vyoma ArtSpace and Studio, JP Nagar