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A Shaft Of Sunlight Shines Through The Audiences’ Heart

A Shaft Of Sunlight Shines Through The Audiences’ Heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report By: JAVED KANA

Human emotions are complex. They are guided by character, confined by belief systems and defined by society’s status quo. When emotions cross the boundaries set by societal norms and moral perceptions are challenged, that’s when human beings’ true identity is questioned. Unraveling these social fabrics framed by society that cushions our ascribed reality was Vibgyor and Wacha Story Kenya’s newest theatrical, A Shaft of Sunlight – The Musical.

The story of a dysfunctional family divided by faith is set against the backdrop of the Hindu-Muslim riots in Ahmedabad. A Shaft of Sunlight narrates the story of Safeena and Bimal, brought together by love-marriage and separated by communal disparities.

After 12 years of marriage, Safeena has changed into a bitter member of the family, brimming with cynicism against her mother-in-law, Shanta. Shanta too is wary of the ‘meat-eating’ Safeena, but dotes on her grandchild, Runa. Bimal is stuck in the conflict between his sarcasm-spewing wife and devoted Hindu mother.

While the production is not the typical run-of-the-mill Gujarati comedy or fantasy musical, it is a marvelous script by Abhijat Joshi, the co-writer of Hindi films like Lage Raho Munnabhai and PK. The pensive production, directed by Kunjan Dholakia, is backed by brilliant performances.

As Safeena, Nilofer Abji thrives in the author-backed role. While Nilofer is not a new name in theatre, Safeena is truly her defining performance to date. The vulnerabilities of Safeena surface in the scenes where she has to cry; she sheds real tears like a true performer. As Bimal, Mehul is convincing in the many scenes where required to depict patience and tolerance. Many real-life husbands relate to his character. He is underrated as a performer, but it is about time he gets his due.

Playing Altaf, Alykhan Sorathia makes his debut on the theatre scene. He has that one powerful monologue that drives home the message of the play. And he shines in it! Trisha Morjaria is aptly cast as the widowed grandmother, Shanta. She exudes just the right sentiments expected of a granny while Runa (Sanvi Shah), is the sunshine of this production while Kamla (Tanvi Rishi) adds the much-needed humour.

Music formed a key character; the live band beautifully rendered the interludes between the scenes. Radio royalty, Parveen Adam’s surprise casting as an All India Radio newscaster could not have been more apt.

Overall, A Shaft of Sunlight – The Musical, staged at the Oshwal Junior High Auditorium on 9th and 10th June, are the kind of productions that keep local
theatre alive.

 

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