In Conversation

The setting is a local pub. A man walks in and shares a pint of beer with God.

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE | Published: March 22, 2012 1:40:54 am

Riding high on humour,the play ‘When God Said Cheers’ will also comment on current issues

The setting is a local pub. A man walks in and shares a pint of beer with God. This simple conversation forms the plot of the play,When God Said Cheers,scripted by Anurag Kashyap. Laced with humour and wit,the play will be showcased in the city on March 23 at Amanora Town Centre.

First performed in May 2003,the play has traveled widely and struck a chord with audiences in several cities. Tom Alter dons the role of the Almighty and takes the man,played by Cyrus Dastur,on an introspective journey. One can see that the simple message works well. Talking about the play,Dastur says,”The script of the play has more or less been the same. But with every performance,we evolve and improve. Each time we address a new audience,we have a take-away that adds to the subtle nuances of the performance.”

When God Said Cheers was staged in the city three years ago. Each time the actors try to add certain topicality to the dialogues. “Apart from how we deliver dialogues,there are certain current issues that we comment on through the script. Like the IPL season or elections. Or if the government has fallen. We try to put something related to current issues in the dialogues,” explains Dastur.

For Dastur,the play is also a way to reach out to newer audiences and newer spaces. “If we are showcasing our play in Indore,you wouldn’t find us in the best hall or auditorium. We would rather perform in a cafe or a book store where the common man listens to us,” he says. The work also has an exciting musical spin to it. Along with comic relief,the settings warrant a background score from the pub singer which makes the delivery more colourful.

Tom Alter’s performance in the play as God is riveting and leaves one with a lot of food for thought. “But it’s not a lesson or a sermon. During the entire play,the audience is made to laugh. I think it’s the best way to make a point and that is what the script aims at,” adds Dastur. Commenting on the way theatre is moving,he adds,”I don’t think it has permeated the culture as much as it needs to. We are traveling to different cities now but more can be done for the genre.”

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