Theatre veteran Michael Muthu loves ‘dark stuff’, but with Four Rooms, he’s offering an adaptation of a comic cult classic film
Known for plays like Jesus Christ Super Star, Biloxi Blues and The Hairy Ape, Michael Muthu from Boardwalkers is back, with an adaptation of the cult classic film, Four Rooms. While the original came out in 1995 and failed at the box office, director Muthu promises a wild and over-the-top comedy and justifies why he chose this script. “The movie was a breakthrough for independent filmmakers and was not a mainstream movie. It is a cult comedy and the script is perfect for an adaptation,” he says. The story is about a bellboy who is left to look after a hotel called The Mon Signor, all by himself, on New Year’s Eve. “As everyone else has left to celebrate, all responsibility is on Ted, the bellboy. The adventures of the evening begin with the arrival of a coven of witches who check into the honeymoon suite,” begins the director. While the original was written by Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, Muthu says the script for the stage is mostly untouched—except for some rewriting and shifting of scenes.
Pick of the lot
The play sees a good mix of experienced actors and fresh talent. The cast includes names like Sudhir Ahuja, Sarvesh Sridhar, Shaan Katari Libby, Tanaaz Zoroofchi, Freddy Koikaran, Ameera D’Costa and Joel Nigli. Having practised from July, Muthu has also designed the sets of the play. “Since the entire set up is in a hotel, we have a reception and three rooms. We have tried to make each look different,” he says. As for the mood on the sets, Muthu says, “It was always fun. We had our fun times and there were moments of seriousness too.”
Muthu is a huge fan of all the genres, with a special liking for the ‘dark stuff.’ “I like plays like Doubt by Patrick Shanley and Vijay Tendulkar’s Sakaram Binder. I also love Neil Simon, Woody Allen, Murray Schisgal and Steve Tesch—all of whom are masters in comedy,” he shares. And if there ever was a play that Muthu wishes he could have written, it would be Amadeus. “It’s easily the most brilliant play I have read to date. It always blows my mind—the dialogues, the characters, the plot, the structure, the rhythm, everything is flawless,” he justifies. And for upcoming writers, Muthu recommends the works of the Bard.
At Museum Theatre, on Septe-mber 6 and 7, from 7.15 pm. Tickets from Rs.200 onwards. Details: indianstage.in
Behind the scenes
Broadway select: We did an Indian adaptation of a French play that we called An Idiot for Dinner. It was a comedy with a lot of laughs and it worked like a charm. I would have liked to take that to Broadway
Next adaptation: We are looking at Shakespeare in Love. It is slated for February 2015
Inspiration: Amadeus, the story of the genius composer Mozart and his jealous rival, Saliere
Last watch: Driving Miss Daisy, which was brought into town by the USIS. That’s closely followed by Mahatma vs Gandhi, which had veteran theatre actor Naseeruddin Shah performing as Gandhi