Aishwarya Rao
It was another evening well spent at Alliance Francaise. Rebelz, a relatively new theatre group in Chennai, released their first production for this year - Two to Tango.

The production was an assortment of two plays 'Playwriting for Dummies' and 'Alice in Blunderland'. The show kickstarted with 'Playwriting...' a short play with an interesting twist to the art of playwriting. Preethika Hari as the world renowned playwright Sheila Punter gave a tremendously natural and realistic performance. In a story about characters taking control of a play, Preethika connected well with the audience.
Despite more than a couple of "rewind" moments in the play, the actors maintained pace with ease.
I am personally a fan of minimalistic sets, but this one was too empty for my taste. I was reminded of Gowri Ramnarayan's Mathemagician where Aarabhi Veeraraghavan had created a minimal but fine and artistic set. While such intrinsic artwork might have been unnecessary, a little detail could have created interesting compositions. I must grant one thing the lighting was impecabble; minute-minute and beautifully co-ordinated to help the audience focus on the characters. Overall short and sweet!

It was however 'Alice in Blunderland' that was certainly more entertaining. A handful of actors, another handful of masala in the story, well scripted lines, decent use of sets and apt costumes that made Alice in Bluenderland complete and enjoyable. Simon works for a company that appreciates family values in a man. In all earnest he engages an agency to send him one Miss Alice to act as his girlfriend in front of a boss. The fun and laughter was nearly unstoppable this evening with several 'Alices' playing their parts in their own true style!
Of all the ladies this evening, it was Anupama who stole the show. She was a lady of few words today, playing a non-english speaking girl mistaken to be Alice. Anupama was a riot with her expressions that truly spoke her mind. In my opinion, if someone can make an audience laugh with some priceless expressions and a one liner "I pay, I stay", then she has truly mastered her character!
With some great support from his co-actors, Ashwin as Simon pulled off a neat and well rehearsed performance. Had the introduction of 'Alistair Campbell' been avoided the play would have scored full points for script tightness as well! Once again the presentation was rather stretched only because it claimed to be against a British setting. There was some interesting experimentation by Sandeep on the sounds with Tom and Jerry dutifully playing when appropriate. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable show. Who said a team full of technology professionals cannot make your laugh your guts out?!