We are always on the move. From one space to another. One room to another. One city to another. One state of mind to another. And with Aadyam we have done many such journeys. From one play of a kind to another. We are always on the move aren’t we?
And this time it is on a journey on Anand Express. It is a play about three friends who carry the ashes of their unexpectedly departed friend Anand to Anand. This, they feel, would be a befitting good bye to their buddy “Anand in Anand“. In the process they encounter a host of situations that include decamping with the urn of ashes, lost tickets, Gujarati entrepreneurs, haunted museum and girls. The play is based on Keith Gray’s story Ostrich Boys that was later adapted by Karl Miller for stage. The Indian adaption by Adarsh Khurana is mostly in English with smatterings of Hindi and Gujarati. Directed for Aadyam by Nadir Khan, this is a Rage Productions presentation.
The event starts with the typical Aadyam pre-show warm up gimmick. A photo booth and a live band entertain the audience at the foyer of Kamani Auditorium, venue for the Delhi performance of Anand Express.
The actors Chaitanya Sharma, Siddharth Kumar, Sukant Goel and Vivaan Shah are all professionals and no one tries to outdo the other. The relatable performances take us down the memory lane and we can see many of our friends and cousins in them. The guys double up and play the other characters who they encounter during their journey and this gives the play a fun twist. Especially when they play girls, the house breaks into laughter. The direction is smart and quite seamlessly captures a simpler time. A time when you don’t question why, you act on impulse and go with the flow.
The set is minimal – a few boxes that are turned into various props – train seat, bed and so on. There is a visual film that plays on the background and adds a familiar yet quirky touch. The whole setup is fuss free and doesn’t distract the audience from the performance.
We have seen a host of Aadyam plays – complex (Ladies Sangeet ), lyrical (Bandish), thriller (12 Angry Jurors) and entertaining (Loretta). The unique quality in Anand Express is its simplicity. A narrative that is full of action and flows before you can start asking question. Anand Express is a lighthearted take on a tragic story.
Hope life is like that – Anand Express.