You’ve Got Hate Mail, a comedy of errors, plays out in the online world
American playwright-actress Jane Milmore had gone through a messy divorce. It involved the exchange of some “horrible emails” between Milmore, and her husband. “You should save those (mails), because they are actually very entertaining and you’ll use them at some point,” her friend had told her back then. Years later, in early 2000, she did just that, for her off-Broadway production You’ve Got Hate Mail. Written jointly with long-time collaborator Billy Van Zandt, it revolves around that one e-mail, which is mistakenly sent to a wrong person, and the extra-marital affair that it exposes.
City-based Quiver Productions will stage this famous adult comedy over the weekend. In the story, lawyer Richard Winters is having an affair with his firm’s receptionist, Wanda Wazzername. And the two often exchange explicit e-mails. Their secret liaison comes to light when Richard accidentally sends one of these emails to his wife Stephanie. Then, allegations, and clarifications fly left, right, and centre, with friends of the couple jumping into the mess. All of this, interestingly, happens only over emails.
Director N Rishi tells us the many reasons why he chose this script, “The writing is exceptionally hilarious. Then, it is not a farcical story. It actually happened to someone. Also, have we all not regretted the ‘autocorrect’, and ‘reply all’ at some point in our lives?”
On the stage, you’ll see Richard, Stephanie, Wazzername, Peg (Stephanie’s bestie), and George (office confidant), sitting with a laptop each, and thrashing out emails. “The actors will read out the mails they write, or receive, to demonstrate their emotions,” he adds.
The play has two versions, with two sets of actors playing George and Peg. “While one George is calm, and mature, the other is high on energy,” he reveals.
Rishi admits that many letters are explicit in nature, if not crass, hence the show is open to people aged 16 and above.
May 21-22. At Alliance Francaise, Vasanth-nagar. 5 pm and 7.30 pm. Tickets (Rs 300) on
— Barkha Kumari