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An original play with an element of mystery premieres in the city

Mad Hats Theatre stages an original play, titled Guilty As (Not) Charged. Essentially a mystery-cum-family drama, the characters and relationships  are loosely based on director Puneet Gupta’s own life. The play opens with a  businessman, his wife, daughter and son, moving from Mumbai to New Delhi to start a new life. As their life unfolds in the new, strange city over a period of a week, the production takes a close look at the dynamics and interpersonal relationships in an average middle-class family.

“A lot of theatre groups try to redo plays from the UK and US. So, I chose   something that’s original,” says Gupta, also the playwright.
The mother has dedicated her life to her family, while the father is a shrewd businessman who doesn’t mind parting with his principles for a few extra bucks. The sister is a studious girl, with a big gang of friends and her brother is a sports freak with a particular interest in football. “These are all very simple characters but the themes and undercurrents in the story are quite  complex.

I wanted to make the production really gripping so I have added a lot of interesting elements to the script,” Gupta shares. Following the topsy turvy ride of the four main actors, looking at tiny, seemingly inconsequential incidents that happen in each of their lives, the story draws the audience completely in when a tragic event occurs, forcing each character to try and solve the mystery from each of their perspectives.

A passionate lot
The cast and crew includes an impressive list of professionals from the IT sector, graduates of IIT Delhi, financiers, researchers and lawyers with a passion for theatre. “The production is completely original right from the music to the costumes. I’ve also been able to exercise comparatively more creative freedom in terms of how I wanted to tell the story,” Gupta concludes.
On April 5 & 6. At Alliance Francaise, Vasant Nagar.

Tickets (Rs. 200) at bookmyshow.com

—Rashmi Rajagopal

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