The Calm Before the Storm

  • Shibani Bedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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  • Updated: Sep 30, 2013 17:55 IST

Wise men and their foreboding of totalitarianism was fodder for fiction, up until a reflection of that futuristic view trickled in our everyday lives. With government-fuelled fear, paranoia, violence, clampdown on fundamental rights and freedom, puppeteering people’s judgement all over the world, it is fitting to not embellish the truth under the veil of political correctness.

But given that objectivity is more a concept than practice, verity is the first to bite the dust. Romancing the same premise is the play — Oliver Lansley’s The Infant, an absurdist black comedy directed by theatre artist Amba Suhasini K Jhala and produced by Toss A Coin Theatre Production. “There is a state of paranoia we live in, and have got comfortable living in, and that is prevalent in the play. It looks at the absurdism of that state,” says Amba. The Infant revolves around the interrogation of two suspects, bound and gagged, who possess a picture that can change civilised society as we know it. Its clever premise is neither completely absurd nor comic as its subject matter is more frightening than comic and more real than absurd.

“Even as a black comedy, it is very different and very relatable. We have used revolving sets, experimented with props and lights. If it weren't so close to today's bizarre reality, one might dismiss the plot as neurotic silliness and absolutely unbelievable. It is unlike anything I have been privy to in the Delhi theatre circuit, and unlike anything I have worked on in the past,” Amba adds.

Catch it live
What: Oliver Lansley’s The Infant — A play
When: October 3 to 6
Where: Akshara Theatre, Baba Kharak Singh Marg
Timing: 7.30pm onwards
Nearest Metro Station: Central Secretariat on the Yellow Line


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