Chocolate Fudge (Hindi)
A Laxmi Birajdar play in the city and you have to go for it. The award winning play “ Chocolate Fudge” was on at Gyaan Adab, Kalyaninagar last month. Some of her other solo pieces are “Awaazein” ( 2013 ) which I have reviewed and “Dhara” (2014.)
‘Chocolate Fudge’ opens to her sitting on a desk scribbling something and talking aloud. After 15 minutes into the play, I could feel acting “is a way of life for her”, in the play making process.
The character is a dreamy character who fudges (copies) in exams and is kicked out. Laxmi draws the character of a bubbly, cant-stop-talking-kinds character. She gets pissed because a student in the class asks too many questions.
The character also fudges the style and voice of some Bollywood artists (Sridevi, Kangna Ranut, Hema Malini) and she could spell out the names easily. The joyful-humor came out well, also the audience looks for an entertaining play, besides an experimental or social-issue play; entertainment also being an important enough function of theatre.
It gets you into splits when she is talking about Hema Malini and tanpura. She gets bored and again takes off, this time sitting on the desk she becomes an astronaut, pressing the buttons and the lights on stage. And in the space travel she crosses Mars, Jupiter (the script reminds you that a volcano erupts whenever the popular Indian comic character Sabu gets angry.) She imagines her relatives and acquaintances: father, gym instructor and a friend in the animals she sees in space. This scene could have been made more scientific, hi-fi, and sophisticated which some play makers do as a shortcut; keeping it simple was good execution.
With her gestures she created a convincing image of space travel, yes, something more could be done with lights. The desk somehow reminded me of this play “Sure Thing” by David Ives which was played by Orange Reason a couple of years back at Gyan Adaab. And the whole space thingy reminded me of “Turn of The Lights” by Moonbeam Factory Theatre.
The use of gestures was convincing, voice was cheerful and engaging, chemistry with herself was good, an enjoyable script.
The play highlights the futility of exams besides taking a jibe at the education system “Our education system is such that the students have an impression that if you score well, you will find a good placement and thus life will be good. So there’s a linear pattern to it, which bothered me a lot. I have followed it too. But I broke that graph and stepped out of that scenario. Is your life entirely based on grades? What about students who are not so bright, and hence are brushed aside? I know many who flunked their papers but today are successful, says the artist.
Some of the other notable works of the artist are: Uney Purey Shahar Ek (Aasakta Kalamanch production), Shivcharita Aani Ek(Natak Company), Binkaamache Samwad (Natak Company). She has also acted in films like Hunterr (Hindi ) and Ek Hazarachi Note (Marathi ) ; serials like “ Majha Shala” (Marathi) on DD- Sahyadri and “Sunn Yaar Try Maar” on UTV BINDASS in 2015!
Her plays could certainly get more theatrical space in the city!
Actor: Laxmi Birajdar; Writer ,Director :Ghanshyam Rahalkar,Lights: Saidpure Raam ,Sound: Pratik Kelkar ,Off-stage support:Amitabh Bhawar