Review

TALES FROM THE OTHER SIDE:UNTOLD HISTORIES AND HIDDEN TRUTHS

Direction : Joy Fernandes
Writer : Apeksha Harsh and Joy Fernandes
Cast : Asfiyah Qadri, Sahil Shah, Hrishita Acharya, Ira Sharma, Kush Shah, Reina Bhatkuly, Keya Kumar, Zayan Dholoo, Siddhant Sathe, Saatvik Kher, Pradyumn Karnani

TALES FROM THE OTHER SIDE:UNTOLD HISTORIES AND HIDDEN TRUTHS Play Review


Valerie Nayak



 TALES FROM THE OTHER SIDE:UNTOLD HISTORIES AND HIDDEN TRUTHS Review
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Six Contemporary 'Feary' Tales.

The play TALES FROM THE OTHER SIDE - UNTOLD HISTORIES AND HIDDEN TRUTHS uses the medium of fairy tales to appeal to audiences of all ages. The stories are tweaked to our larger realities and issues today.

The actors start out with 'Little Red Riding Hood'. The story shows how technology consumes our attention and how it can be misused. It shows how the government can turn into the big, bad wolf. Set in the future, the government is capable of "recycling" those it considers as misfits in the society. Technology is now used by those in power and the others are mere pawns. Then along comes racing 'The Tortoise and the Hare'. This story focuses on peer pressure and drug abuse. It depicts how people whom we think of as true friends may sometimes do more harm than good for their own selfish reasons. The story ends with the tortoise collapsing. The hare realises the folly he committed. The tale also serves to highlight the frightening influence of social media for social acceptance.

The 'Ugly Duckling' shows how we are swayed by prototypes of beauty such as white is beautiful, which is driven by commercial interests. Ironically, the 'not-so-ugly' duckling, post the self-enhancing cosmetic surgery turns contemptuous of its mother. The tale is also a subtle hint at racism.

The next tale staged is of 'The Thirsty Crow.' The crow is portrayed as the victim of a callous media. The three reporters in the story are only interested in sensationalism, while the crow, a hapless victim of a degraded environment is left to slowly die.

The 'Three Little Pigs' has the wolf in the tale as a personification of bureaucracy. The wolf embodies corruption and the first two pigs are his hapless victims.

At the very end, this engaging drama turns to the tale of 'Hansel and Gretel' with friends in tow. Here the so-called witch is keen on weaning away the youngsters of our time from the ills of junk food and addictive technology. The parents have exiled the witch. She tries to entice the children with a healthy diet and gets them to crush candy not on screen but as a game they can physically play. But hers is a lone and isolated voice muted by the majority.

Joy Fernandes and Apeksha Harsh who have jointly written the play leave us thinking. A lasting impression is created by a simple yet engaging stage design and performances - for all the right reasons.

Valerie Nayak, a Grade 9 student of Bombay Scottish School, secured the first place, which she shares with Salena Sinha of Nahar International School, in the review writing competition that was held by The Pomegranate Workshop, an Arts Education Company in collaboration with Mumbai Theatre Guide

Review By Salena Sinha
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