Moonshine and Skytoffee
Last Friday I decided to watch ‘Moonshine and Skytoffee’ which was a part of the celebrating 100 years of Basheer festival. The festival for some reason which I am unaware of is called ‘Under the Mangoostan Tree’.
The play was in the museum theatre, Egmore, which has lovely acoustics and not to mention the charming Victorian architecture. The play was a mix of two stories by Basheer, one is Love Letters, and the other story’s name, I sadly do not remember.
The sets were neatly done, the entire play occurs in two locations, one is a bachelor pad and the second a tea shop. Both these unrelated locations were integrated into one set, and devoid of the need for set changes.
In any adaptation the script plays a vital role, if the script fails to capture the essence of the story, the play usually falls apart. In this adaptation, the script retains the indianness of the play and also the humor present in the story. The blending of both the stories has been done well, the audience is fooled into believing that they are actually one story rather than two.
Since both the stories are love stories, I expected soppy, and emotional scenes. But to my surprise, the play was hilarious. There isn’t much to call as the story. Its essentially another of those breezy romantic plays, but just that it has an Indian background, with the average middle class clerk, the educated middle class mallu girl, tea shop owner, and a petty thief as the principle characters. With a card shuffler as the quasi-antagonist, and the interaction between these characters is a laugh riot.
The play is a value for money entertainer. Walk in, time flies by and walk out. This weekend, the same group is staging an ambitious play, which blends 8 different stories by Basheer, and after sitting through this one, I am definitely planning to watch that one too!!!