Expect the unexpected. But then you would be expecting it and that would make the unexpected expected and hence not unexpected.
So, unexpect the expected.
These were the exact words that described IIMACTS’ first English production of the year on Facebook. The production, titled Curveballs, was a melange of ten different sketches.
Following the tradition of last year’s play ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ which featured Monty Python sketches, seven out of this year’s ten sketches were also sketches by the British comedy group. The hilariously random sketches which defied almost all logic and rational thought can quite easily be termed absurdist.
The sketches had every possible scenario unimaginable, right from a gang of un-robbers planning a non-heist and a considerate hijacker to an obsessive haggler and an over-enthusiastic advertiser. First year student Vaidyanathan who played the advertiser pulled it off beautifully, getting his timing and lines spot on. Certain characters from the famous Agatha Christie novels came to life in one of the sketches only to be killed off soon. Anush Mohan had the enviable task of playing Inspector Tiger; a character that can never get his lines right – every actor’s dream role.
The play also featured ‘Fatal Beatings’ a sketch co-written by Rowan Atkinson. The sketch revolves around a headmaster breaking the news of a student’s death to his mother with an air of a man talking about the weather. The role of the headmaster was played by Manish Krishnan, who very effortlessly switched from a headmaster to a greedy merchant banker. Sarah Lemaire who played the girl in Merchant Banker showed her versatility too by smoothly making the transition from playing a dumb criminal to a girl scout out collecting money for an orphan’s fund.
The sketch by Mark Harvey Levine captures the dramatic dumping of a psychic by his almost psychotic girlfriend while Seth Kramer’s Tarantino Variation saw a face-off between three ball spineless and extremely indecisive gangsters. Himank Shanker, another first year student who played one of the gangsters had the audience in splits with his perfect portrayal of a man in dire need of a bathroom.
Lauren Wilson’s Wedding Duet, though, was one of the highlights of the play featuring a highly emotional, bordering on bi-polar couple fighting on their wedding night. FDP student Priyanka Das, who had a cameo in IIMACTS’ previous play, pulled off the emotional bride’s role with elan.
Curveballs added an international flavour to the play by casting two exchange students for the first time in a long time. This diversity in the cast added to the already random and comic scripts.
The play was directed by second year students Manish Krishnan and Anush Mohan and was attended by students, faculty members and their families. If the laughter emanating from the audience is anything to go by, the play was very well received and Curveballs did live up to its promise of surprising the audience.
IIMACTS’ next production is the faculty play which is to be staged on September 5th. Catch that to see our beloved faculty members show off their acting skills.