Sunday, November 30, 2014

Review of the play "Bebe Da Chamba"

Once in a while, one watches a play that one is forced to review. Bebe da Chamba is one such play. Disclaimer: I am a Punjabi. I love Punjabi folk music and its ability to express complex human emotions in simple words.

And for me, that was the highlight of the play - the strategic use of Punjabi folk music.

The story is simple - 4 unmarried, way past marriageable age daughters stuck in a suffocating home with a dominating mater and 2 gossiping female servants. The eldest is engaged to a prized catch - presumably bcs of the dowry she brings, while the youngest loves the same man.

The plot is complicated.. but the acting makes it easy to understand. The characters are well sketched and have integrity. You can tell how bebe will act in a given situation. Chaiji deserves special mention.. very special mention. In the brief time that she is on stage, she makes it known that a good actor is easy to spot. Which is a tall order in this play - the casting is almost perfect. Everyone from Guddi to Bebe is sooo well cast. The actress who played Vimla also deserves very special mention. Vimla was not an easy character to bring to life, and she did perfect justice to it.

But my highlight of the play was the scene where the sisters have an impromptu Gidda sequence to talk to each other. They express themselves in "bolis" and "tappas" and the most poignant of all is the admission of the engaged sister - Mahiya pehle nit milda, hun milda karaaraan te (my beloved would come to see me everyday, but now, I only see him on promised days)

A play with layers is never easy to realise, the nuances are too many and far too much depends on each member of the cast. Which is what made this evening - and the play, that much more special.

if you do get a chance, go for this play. If you are a Punjabi, you are likely to enjoy it.

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