I have been to about eight plays, in three times as many years; and I have enjoyed every single play (though this may point more to my ignorance than having such good taste). 😀
Ms. Meena, the play, is about Ms. Meena, the film star, who returns to her village Pichampuram after twenty long years. She is on a mission to film her final movie (about The Life of Ms. Meena), and she has another ulterior motive, which is revealed to us during the course of the play. Therefore, we have the play, which is about the actress taking a journey to Pichampuram, and we simultaneously have the movie she shoots for; both of which come to their own endings.
From the opening scene, where we see a man standing as still as a statue upon a rock, to the final scene where we see the same man again, Ms. Meena manages to captivate its audience – by being funny, emotional, irreverent, sentimental, witty, a little tragic, and at all times sparkling. The cast was so wonderful, changing roles with elan. (I was especially envious of the way they sang.) I also loved the idea of the actors themselves becoming props – suddenly a bird, suddenly a tree, suddenly a man holding up a sheet of bubble wrap (waterfall!), and the most inventive of all – a deity made of cane baskets and a shawl and what I think were sunglasses. The audience spontaneously burst into applause when the shrine was put together in a matter of seconds!
Ms. Meena is mostly in English, with a little bit of the South Indian languages. Some bigger questions are hinted at: the decline of a village, the transformation of innocent-Asha to dream-girl-Ms.Meena, revenge and justice. I want to almost describe the play as delicious, though I don’t know if that is the right word to use.
Note: I had a fan moment when I met Mr. Anish Victor (on account of being a friend of a friend). He can best be described as all-in-all: he acted as the MLA Thambidurai, intermittently played the guitar on stage as background music to the unfolding of various events, and was generally an awesome person.