The Buckingham Secret

By Sunil Kumar Gaanda Ghela na karto(Don’t showcase your mischief). The Parsis, a distinctive facet of Bombay existence are known for their ribald humor, philanthropy, eccentricity and a fascination for things “phoren”. So; begins another day at the J.R.D Tata built Indira Gandhi inaugurated theatre at the southern fringe of the miserable and lively city of Mumbai. Showcasing their penchant for a quirky sense of the world around them; “The Buckingham Secret” attempts to rewrite history; Parsi style. The shocker here; the royal family is wholly Zoroastrian(this is a comic play; pray don’t take this to be truth). As the evening started; we learn from the butler(played by Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy) that this is the royal family albeit with Parsi double names. Sample: Camilla Parker Bowles and Kamla Bai(the Maharashtrian/Gujju wife). The humour here can be a little difficult for people from other communities to digest; but nevertheless it was still quite funny. The other play I watched here; was the Dabholkar essayed “Blame It On Yashraj” which was more of the “lai bhaari” Maharashtrian version; and since I sort of like the Amritsar-born director; found the jokes on Punjabis and Bengalis; apart from the locals and every other idea conceivable to the director; rather trite and contrived. A few laughs aside; the review is somewhere on my site. Meherzad Patel and “Silly Point” Productions(the clincher here is the Indian(and Parsi) fascination with cricket) give us an insight into Bombay’s Parsi colonies; their diaspora and the general quasi-silliness that permeates existence. No seriousness here; the play typified what must have been “Parsi theatre” in the earlier part of the 20th century. Considering that it did not need any deep reflection; the play was quite joyous and vibrant.

 

     

       

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