weighing the pros and cons of the smart phone trend, Chennai-based theatre Perch’s new play Monkey and the Mobile talks about mobile phones and the role they play in any relationship. Staged in Chennai a couple of weeks ago, the play will now be performed at Adishakti Theatre in Pondicherry “When I texted the idea of making phones the underlying theme (for our play) to one of the actors, he immediately sent me the famous photo (by Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten) of a Japanese Snow monkey half submerged in a hot spring, holding the iPhone of one of the tourists, it had grabbed,” says Rajiv Krishnan, the director of the play. The play’s name was immediately coined.
The play that hints at both the positives and negatives of cell phone use has the devised theatre technique (where the story evolves organically as each contributes to its writing). Commenting on how it is different from their earlier plays that draws inspiration to a certain extent from existing work, Krishnan says, “We had no story or a play to base it on. We had no reference point to which we could go back to if we noticed a mistake. Hence, stringing the stories this way was a challenge. But if it works, this will become our reference point for our future plays.” Giving life to the theme are the stories and also the unique concept of an actor on stage who would film it on a phone and project it simultaneously on the screen (white backdrop) behind.
The Couple (on an old Malayali couple who is gifted with a phone by their daughter) and An Overworked Emoji (about how often we use too many emoticons) are among the six short stories that the 85-minute play comprises. Tomorrow and Sunday, at 7 pm. Free entry but donations are welcome. Details: 0413 2622287