The wonder that was – Nothing Like Lear

On my weekends, I often look for things to do – apart from sleeping, cleaning, cooking and the weekly grocery shopping. The kind of lazy bum I am, I tend to while away the glorious two days just like that, unless and until I have something to look forward to.

One new thing that I have found these days to do is watching plays. Now I am a drama queen, my friends and family can vouch for that, and I have always been very fascinated by theater. I have acted in plays only twice in my entire life, that too in school, but I enjoy watching them quite a lot. A theater actor always ends up having a very real connection with his audience, and it is extremely challenging – you know the reaction of your audience on the spot, and it can be quite daunting I feel.

So when I got an nice mailer from BookMyShow regarding a show right next to me at RangaShankara, JP Nagar, I booked a ticket for myself without much ado. And there was a perfectly legitimate for spending 300 INR plus Internet charges for a single ticket – It was “Nothing Like Lear”, an experimental take on the famous Shakespearean play “King Lear”, directed by none other than Rajat Kapoor and starring Vinay Pathak! It felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, watching a theater stalwart and an amazing actor performing live in front of my eyes and there was simply no reason to miss this one!

My Saturday today too began the usual way – I woke up late, went to buy vegetables, did a little cleaning, and had my lunch. Before I knew it, it was already 2.45 pm, and by the time I got ready and left my house, it was 3.20 pm! It didn’t help that I found the slowest auto rickshaw in the world, and as I reached tumbling and stumbling into the theater, the legend, Vinay Pathak was already on the stage. As he saw me, he told me, “It’s okay, the play is yet to start.” Oh the embarrassment of the entire jam-packed theater looking at me and laughing! I looked around in a hurry, found a place, and settled down, hoping that no one still had their eyes on me 😛

Soon after the lights went out, and I saw the magic happening, real-time. The play stood true to its name, there was indeed “nothing like Lear” in it. But it had its own plot and sub plots, the sublime layers, a father’s immense love for his daughter and a man’s resentment against his brother, the “bastard”. The character held the audience spell-bound, going through a roller coaster of emotions – laughter, mirth, love, happiness, anger, pity, revenge, and finally, great sorrow. Vinay Pathak was extremely engaging, I am quite sure he couldn’t have had all those lines written, especially the jokes he cracked at the audience, with the audience. Even if every word was written, the spontaneity of his delivery made it look like he was the character, living and breathing it.

It was a 90 minute show, and the audience clapped with the character, an old man dressed like a clown, laughed with him, felt sad with him and loved him to bits. The climax was very intense and as Vinay took the final bow, he got a resounding thunderous applause with lot of whistles, and hoots, and a well deserved standing ovation. I wish Rajat Kappor had come in front of the audience too, it takes a great director’s imagination to come up with a beauty that the show was.

If the play is screened in your city, do watch it. It is worth the experience and honestly, way way way above in terms of value for the amount of money charged for a ticket.

I am too much of a amateur to rate a play by such theater giants, but just to act extra smart, I will do it 😛

Rating :  5/5

Have you watched any plays recently? Does this remind you of another great play you saw? Do you want to see a play? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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6 comments

  1. Anon · May 7, 2015

    That must have been an experience! Oh, how I wish I had come across this play :/
    I have watched Rajat Kapoor’s Love Letters at the same venue. Even though the plot was not very engaging for me, his acting was top class 🙂

    Like

    • Sanjeet Kathuria · May 7, 2015

      Yes it was. There is another great play by Girish Karnad and Arundhati Nag showcasing today and tomorrow at the same venue. Check that out if you are interested!

      Like

  2. Anon · May 7, 2015

    Bikhre Bimb!

    Hindi. I may not understand it completely. Will wait for Kannada/English version

    Meanwhile, will wait for your review 😀

    Like

  3. SubhashreePatra · July 10, 2015

    Its running in prthvi theatre this weekend and i m visiting bombay then. So I take your positive review as a deciding factor to go watch the play!:P Thanks:)

    Like

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