Housefull of Laughter

Captivating the theatre lovers of Bhopal into thunders of laughter, Prayog , an experimental theatre group of the city, staged a comedy play ' Bad Bad Savitri' on Wednesday at Bharat Bhavan. The play toured the audience through an array of laughter levels with its pure comedy and one-liners. 

Set in the backdrop of a Maharashtrian family, the play is written by noted Marathi writer, Ratnakar Matkari. Directed by Prof Satish Mehta, the play is a satire criticizing the blind faith of the people in black magic. 

The play revolves around Professor Prophale (Anurag Shrivastava), his first wife Savitri (Anshu Jain) and second wife Yamini (Aparna Sharma). The play begins with Laddu (Arvind Sharma) cleaning the house and Yasmine rehearsing her script.Yamini's mother Mummy (Mamta Chopra) comes to visit her daughter. She was against Yasmine marrying Prof. Pofle citing their age difference, but doesn't get a warm welcome from her son-in-law. 

While the characters keep arguing over professors inclination towards his first wife, their family doctor (Shirish Mishra) pays a visit to the family and tells that he plans to expose a fake tantrik baba Radhobharari (Smit Mehta) who fools people by telling them that he can communicate to the dead and bring their soul back. 

In an attempt to challenge the fake Baba, professor asks him to call his wife. The Baba performs a small Pooja and Savitri returns in their lives. Since, the professor was madly in love with his wife, only he can see her and a frenzy of comedy begins. 

The sequences and punches of the play with perfect timings added to the humour. 
While the professor is all engrossed in attending his first wife, who is visible, audible only to him, the doctor plans a different story. He asks Yamini to pretend that her lover Sarjahare Satghare 's soul (Anirudh Ganguly), who comitted suicide post Yamini's wedding to the professor, has come back. 
Finally Yamini his second wife, explains to the professor that Savitri is here to kill him so that they can remain together post death. 

The change of sequences was perfectly distinguished and music was well synced with the scenes and dialogues. The make up and costumes complimented each character, without being overdone, that soothed the audience. Lights were very skillfully operated adding on to the visual effects of each scene. 

Aparna Sharma and Anshu Jain who staged the play for the first time, coped up well with the veterans they shared the stage with. 

Director’s Cut: 
Co- Director Smit Mehta, who was also seen portraying the fake baba Radho Bharari,said, “The play originally us based on the backdrop of a Marathi family. However, these days, we have the cosmopolitan culture in every city. So in an attempt to make it more audience friendly, we added the Malwa language and the Bundelkhandi language in the play, while translating it from Marathi to Hindi. Also we have cut short the play from three hours to one and a half hours,” Smit Mehta says.

Actors Speak: 
The lead actor of the play  Anurag Shrivastava who portrayed the character of Professor Paphle said, “The play is a satire criticizing the mal practices and beliefs. We have also tried to incorporate some punches to promote Swach Bharat Mission and GST.” 

Artistes off the stage
Set: Mohan Dwiwedi
Make Up: Narendra Rajput
Costumes:  Sapna Mehta
Properties:  Anirudh Ganguly
                   Aniruda Saxena
Music Compilation: Arvind Sharma 
Music Direction: 
Co-Director:  Smit Mehta
Writer:  Ratnakat Matkari
Director:  Satish Mehta 

About the Group: 
Prayog, an experimental theatre group, is contributing in this field since 1975. Formed in Indore by veteran theatre personal Prof Satish Mehta. The group moved to Bhopal in 1984 and has contributed immensely in making the theatre canvas of Bhopal more colourful. 
The group also has its branch in the USA with the name Prayog USA is working hard in shaping Hindi theatre there. 

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