Ankit Gor’s ‘In Between’ is an entertaining play with a serious undertone

In Between theatre play by Ankit gor

At the 79th and concluding show of performing arts Abhivyakti Edition Three it was felt the City Project had triggered fresh creative ideas in a few cases. At the show on March 1 it was Anti Clock’s an hour-long play In Between in Gujarati both written and directed by the same person Ankit Gor, who happened to be the Curator of theatre events. Remaining away from mainstream themes and formats, along with others he is known to explore dramatic performances rather experimental in their treatment of the theme and presentation at smaller auditoria – our counterpart of the British fringe theatre.

In Between almost holds a mirror up to the relationship between a young woman and a young man outside the traditional system of marriage with a social sanction. Chintal (Jainil) and Vishal (Vishal Shah), a woman who has a job in an office and a man who is a writer and currently does not go out for work, are in  live-in relationship for close to five years. A third character (Ankit Gor), their landlord Devendra, enters their small house right at midnight one day for a flimsy reason and through conversations with them tries to become a catalyst of change in their attitudes to each other.

In Between theatre play by Ankit gor

What is remarkable about this theatre experience is that the viewers, most of them the couple’s age, sitting chock-a-block on the ground in front and occupying chairs behind, over 600, are completely in tune with the happenings and the ideas underlying. They identify with the situation, the relationship, the inroads the nocturnal guest makes into the relationship, the couple’s embarrassment, the outbursts revealing their character, and the underlying humour. They do get disturbingly a bit zealous in the beginning but reassuringly greet the silent tense moments on the stage with mature silence.

One wonders how the couple has pulled on together for nearly five years. The chirpy young woman like any average modern educated girl with a job has a bee in the bonnet about what she is. She is irrepressibly impatient and can’t put up with an opinion contrary to her own. When in a flow, she herself admits, she has no control over language. She gets aggressive. The young man seems to remain at the receiving end. He would rather withdraw himself from a crowd, won’t engage in a small talk and is not quick to form a judgment on others and their affairs. Perhaps his being a writer explains his temperament.

The intruding character, the elderly landlord is unmarried but has interesting observations. Minor quarrels, accordingly to him, have a psychological function. They make you relaxed. He introduces the game of role play – each of the three in turn takes a different role – and differences between the two come to the fore. The landlord’s observation, though it may sound judgmental, seems to carry sense. He tells them, ‘Not that you do not know each other, but you are not ready to understand each other.’ This looks true even as regards a very delicate matter that comes to light towards the end.

In Between theatre play by Ankit gor

There is not much of physical action in the play. Without the ingenious and crisp dialogue strewn with humour all through it could have become verbose and dull. With them instead and with moments of inbuilt silence in In Between, writer-director Ankit Gor gives an entertaining play with serious undertones. Jainil Shah and Vishal Shah with their ‘compatibility to quarrel’ keep the play alive with their verbal sparks. Radhika’s sets, Anahita’s lights and Akash’s music by choice remain at a low key to highlight the dramatic theme.

Image courtesy : Abhivyakti

Yatra Archives National Award winning actor Irrfan Khan dies at the age of 54

One of India’s most celebrated actors, Irrfan Khan known for his expressive eyes, died after succumbing to a long battle with cancer. He was 54.  A gaping void has been left in the Indian film industry as one of India’s… Of youthful passion and star-crossed lovers on Shakespeare’s birthday

While the Globe is streaming free its second dramatic production Romeo and Juliet, today is 23rd April, the day William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is believed to have been born and died. One would seldom find a more spontaneous and intense expression… Shubigi Rao selected to curate the fifth edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2020

Let’s know Shubigi Rao, who has recently been selected as the curator for the 2020 Kochi Muziris Biennale, for her “exceptional acumen and inventive sensibilities” The format of the art biennale to showcase contemporary visual art, across the world is modeled on… The call of the mountains: orthopaedic Dr Yatin Desai’s advice on trekking

In this piece 64 year old Dr Yatin Desai, shares with CY his inspiring story of how to scale towering mountains with utmost ease and how this life adventure activity can shape human character and health. Chances are high that…