Monday 29 April 2019

Prudence Production staged George Bernard Shaw's Mrs Warren's Profession in Andheri (Mumbai) on 27.4.2019

A  daughter tracing herself 

(हिंदी में नाटक की कहानी के लिए-  यहाँ क्लिक कीजिए)

This charming young daughter Vivie has an utmost sullen face when she asks her mother, "Who is my father?" And to the greatest dismay of the daughter Mrs, Warren has no satisfactory answer.

Brought up far away from her mother Vivie is a charming young woman who has just graduated from a prestigious university. She is available for matchmaking and perhaps to discuss on this matter Mrs. Warren has called many men to meet her at the house where Vivie lives. Out of four men who are in the scene Mr. Praed, Sir George Crofts, Reverend Samuel Gardner and Frank Gardner only the last one is of young enough to fit for Vivie. The damsel Vivie is  naturally attracted to that boy. All others are middle-aged men belonging to intimate friend circle of Mrs. Warren. Notwithstanding the generation gap George Crofts becomes infatuated with Vivie to the extent that he is ready to offer any part of his wealth to get Vivie as his life partner. He even suggests that his superabundant wealth will ultimately belong to Vivie after his death which is not much longer now as he has already lived three-fourth part of his whole life.

Vivie is not much concerned about her marriage but one thing haunts her consistently,"Who is my father?" Getting her mother in privacy she again asks this. Though the mother first gets disturbed and want to avoid but Vivie is insistent. As Mrs Warren has to win the favour of her daughter to whom she can rely for support in her old age she reveals everything. She says that she has been a prostitute and used to run several brothels in Europe in partnership with his friend. She did so because she  wished to arrange for the best upbringing of her darling baby Vivie.

Vivie's heart overflows with sympathy for her mother who took so much of trouble for her and even sacrificed the social ethics for that. She forgives her mother.

On another side, when George Crofts sees that Vivie is not heeding to him and rather more tilted towards the young and easygoing Frank gardener he reveals before Vivie that she and Frank are in-fact half-siblings. Well before this, Vivie had abhorred the jaunty mannerism and preposterous ways of Frank. She took no time to decide and announce that it would be better to remain unmarried for her.

But another revelation devastates her further and this time she is unforgiving. When her mother comes to meet her she tells her to go from her life forever. The mother implores that she is growing old and now she would need the support of Vivie in real sense. Vivie says I had forgiven you for your past but I am not able to bear your present crimes. You are still in the same abominable profession. And now I shall not tolerate you any more. The mother says that if she does not earn by remaining in her present profession then Vivie would be facing monetary scarcity. But Vivie is adamant to run her own pious profession of journalism. That might be less rewarding monetarily but would always keep her morale high.

We all must mind that the mother-daughter dialogue is the essence of the play. The first approval and then disapproval of the mother make the whole plot. The more forceful they be the more they add to the glory of the performance. For this. The more fierce acting and outer sound effects may be explored for this chunk.

The play is written by the legendary George Bernard Shaw at the end of nineteenth century and the director was Abhyday Tamhankar. The names of actors are Rashmi Khanna, Mayanka Pereira, Vineet Ahuja, Puneet Batra, Kunal Sharma, Namman Bhasin. On backstage (lights and music) were Beauty Hazarika Abhishek Magaji.

The director has refrained from any untoward manipulations in the classical elements in terms of style of acting, dresses and property. The performers also acted religiously on the track set by the director. Every actors lived well naturally with the respective personality traits  of the respective character.  The woman playing Kitty Warren seemed to be only after amusement and merriment having no regard for morality. But  it was clear from her movements that she is craving much more for getting love of her daughter. Trying to make eye-to-eye contact with her daughter was evident.

Vivie seemed  to be an aware young woman who is facing a huge crisis of biological identity. Through her facial expressions towards the audience she truly deplored her mother seeming to have no scruples and is happy in making relation with several men at different points of time. The actor in role of Mr. Praed seemed to be a balanced well mannered man and perhaps the most sober person on the stage. the actor as Gearge Crosts acted well as a lascivious person who has no regard even for his age.

The actor in role of Samuel Gardnener brilliantly displayed the dilemma faced by a man who is seeing his daughter but can't call her so. The young man who played Frand Gardner did what was expected to him by the script writer and the director. He shouldn't be victimised for his overacting as it was in fact as per the demand of the play. The more lofty demeanour and gait he adopted the more justification could be built for being neglected by Vivie even though being coeval. The viewers must have watched that she had already rejected more than once before it came to light that he was half-brother.

Backstage job on lights and sound control was excellent. The play was staged in Odeum auditorium, Andheri (Mumbai) on 27.4.2019.

The director, actors and other artists worth a warm  applause for the excellent show of the amazing play written some One and quarter century before and still so relevant today.

Review by - Hemant Das 'Him'
Photographs courtesy - Prudence Production
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