If you thought it takes a genius to pen a comedy,what would you think of a writer who not only had to make a serious story funny,but also a funny story funnier? Its a challenge that playwright-director-actor Paritosh Painter took up five years ago. In 2007,he had watched a 20-minute play in Gujarati,which revolved around a mute boy,who helps a blind girl solve a murder case. I realised I could write something which had similar characters. However,I wanted to stick to my favourite genre comedy, says Painter,adding that it took him four months to come up with the story line,decide characters and design the final product.
The English play,See No Evil,Hear No Evil,had its debut show five years ago,and was followed by several shows not only in the country,but also overseas. The play has three people witnessing a murder a blind girl who hears the killer,a deaf man (played by Painter) who sees him,and a dumb man who hears him. As the police suspects them to be the killers,the trio with their physical limitations work together to save themselves. All this happens with numerous comic twists and turns, says Painter. Painter went on to write and stage two more plays that had same characters in lead roles,titled Get Rid of My Wife and See No Evil,Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil.
And now,taking his See No Evil series forward,Painter has come up with See No Evil,Hear No Evil,Speak No Evil,Do No Evil. The play opened in Mumbai three months ago,followed by shows in Bangalore and Chennai.
I have added new elements that are relevant today and have removed ones that are irrelevant, he says. Commenting on the addition of the phrase do no evil to the plays title,Painter says the newer version has a different climax and the addition to the title portrays it.
The play has not only had a makeover,but is also crisper. While the earlier version was two hours and 30 minutes long,the latest one is just two hours long. Also,there are four new faces in the latest version Barkha Bisht Sengupta,Delnaz Irani,Kishwar Merchant and Nasir Khan.
For 42-year-old Painter,the inclination towards theatre began when he was studying at Mithibai College,Mumbai,where he participated in several drama competitions. In 1996,he staged his first theatre production Whos Wife Is It Anyway. After Dhamaal (2007),a comedy film,he wrote All The Best (2009). The same year,he also went on to write and direct Paying Guest under the Mukta Arts banner.
His first stand-up act,Women Decoded,presented in June this year,had the audience in splits. Having dabbled in films,theatre and television (as producer of Honge Juda Na Hum),Painter says that the kick he gets out of being on stage,is the most satisfying. When I feel people laugh and applaud,I feel special and rejuvenated, he adds.
The play will be staged at Hyatt
Regency on October 2 at 7 pm