Ying together slam poetry, music and theatre, Team Underdog, a Bangalore-based theatre company, stages not one but two plays (12 Inches and Sweet Tinder Love) this weekend. Written and directed by Chaitanya Varad, one of the co-founders of the outfit, the common theme is love and the plot focuses on the struggles the protagonists face in finding it. “Underdog prefers to do original plays, so you won’t see us redoing pretentious British plays that are not relevant to an Indian audience,” shares Varad, adding, “Our topics are contemporary, current, raw and tailormade for Bangalore’s youth.”
Object of desire
The evening begins with 12 Inches, a story about a young man, Siddharth, who is a female magnet due to a certain extraordinary physical attribute. Envied by his roommates, Vikram and Jigar, and all his friends, all he wants, however, is to find love. But this aspect also means that women don’t see him for who he really is and are only interested in getting physical. “At it’s heart, it is about the objectification of men. While a lot has been said and done about the objectification of women, the other side of the story is never addressed,” Varad explains. As the play wears on, the audience gets a peek into what women talk about behind closed doors and it becomes more apparent that what most men would term a gift, is really a curse for Siddharth, reveals the director.
In Sweet Tinder Love, to be staged later in the evening, the opening scene takes you to the living room of the main character, Vikram, who is having a conversation with his father. While the older man shares his experiences of dating during his youth, his son chats about the current scenario. “He tells his son about how half the thrill was in the chase and Vikram speaks for a majority of the younger generation in saying that he really doesn’t have the time for that and prefers to cut to the chase with apps such as Tinder. This sets the tone for the rest of the play,” explains Varad. Tanya, Vikram’s friend gives us a look at the average Tinder girl, while his Tinder date, Maya gives a twist to the tale, which forms the crux of the plot. “What Vikram expects from the date and what actually happens is what the story is really about,” he tells us. Both plays, in true Underdog style, start off with a slam poetry session which is a prelude to the actual play, with original songs written by Varad, set to music and performed by Pranav DM (their in-house musician) woven into the script.
5.30 pm. At Alliance Francaise, Tickets (`250) on bookmyshow.com