A bit of help with a party

Stratford Press - - News - By ALICE COWDREY

There was danc­ing on ta­bles, bal­loon blow­ing, bindis and spicy dahl for ev­ery­body dur­ing Mrs Kr­ish­nan’s Party.

The show — at New Ply­mouth’s TSB Showplace last week — was a to­tal feast for the senses and a bit of an emo­tional roller coaster too.

The se­quel to love story Kr­ish­nan’s Dairy, Mrs Kr­ish­nan’s Party is set in the back room of the dairy and is an in­ter­ac­tive piece of theatre which in­cludes some pretty im­por­tant themes about com­mu­nity and hap­pi­ness.

Dur­ing the show, mem­bers of the audience be­come party go­ers af­ter be­ing handed scarves, gar­lands and bindis and are also called in to cut onions, open tins of to­ma­toes and add spices to the dahl. The in­ter­ac­tive na­ture of the show isn’t over­whelm­ing how­ever, and hap­pens in a nat­u­ral and un­forced way. The set is well planned out to in­cor­po­rate the audience in an in­ti­mate way, with some even seated at a din­ing room ta­ble.

At the cen­tre of the story is ma­tri­achal dairy owner Mrs Kr­ish­nan — played by Kalyani Na­gara­jan — and her as­pir­ing DJ boarder James who is played by Justin Rogers. Through the pair’s di­a­logue, the show delves into the pair’s deep­est fears and ul­ti­mately il­lus­trates how two peo­ple at two very dif­fer­ent stages of their lives can both be search­ing for the same thing — hap­pi­ness.

James throws a sur­prise party for Mrs Kr­ish­nan to cel­e­brate the Hindu Fes­ti­val Onam and al­though she is less than will­ing to par­take in the cel­e­bra­tion, slowly loosens up and comes round to the idea.

The party grad­u­ally builds it­self up and be­fore the crowd knows it, they are blow­ing up bal­loons and help­ing to make a mas­sive pot of dahl.

Through­out the ac­tion, the script can­vases Mrs Kr­ish­nan’s ever chang­ing mind­set about what she wants in her fu­ture as well as her grief for her hus­band, dis­ap­point­ment in her son, and agony about her love life. Kalyani plays the role beau­ti­fully and is per­fect for the role, to which she brings hu­mour, poignancy and some pretty quick wit. The pair weave stories from the audience into the script and it’s hard to be­lieve many parts of the show are im­pro­vised.

The party is rounded off with a beau­ti­ful dis­play of clas­si­cal In­dian danc­ing by Kalyani on the din­ner ta­ble. The show of­fers a rare feel­ing of con­nec­tion be­tween theatre go­ers as well as depth of mean­ing about shar­ing and cel­e­bra­tion of com­mu­nity. Peo­ple of any age would love it.

As­pir­ing DJ James is played by Justin Rogers in Mrs Kr­ish­nan’s Party.

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