Friday, September 11

A Brimful of Asha Click for more info

For those of us perpetually on the same, it's always compelling and relevant to listen to someone recount their own story about being on "the hunt". The twist in this tale was that the story was told not only by the protagonist Ravi, but also with his mother, the titular Asha.

I guess the main hook here is the sheer charm of the whole thing. Asha (or "aunty" as I feel compelled to call her) is genuine and authentic, right down to the inevitable mistakes, missed lines and awkwardness on stage she warns the audience about. By its very conversational nature the fourth wall is constantly stripped down, and it becomes quite difficult (in a pleasant way I suppose) to figure out what's real, what's fiction and what's improvised. In fact, it's Ravi's clear experience on the stage which sometimes detracts from the whole thing, as his performance repeatedly reminds us that ultimately he is an actor on a stage.

Otherwise it's a pretty typical story - set a fair few years ago Ravi's parents want their son to get married and are happy to resort to the ol' emotional and physical blackmail to do it, the son refusing to marry for anything other than romance and love. It was a bit of a biased story toward the latter - the cynical side of me saw it as mere pandering to a progressive audience (I, of course, finding myself agreeing mostly with aunty). The fact that Ravi admits he did get married a year after the story was set kind of explained a lot and ultimately detracted from the potency of the message; but hey it is only a play after all.

Very funny and touching, I'd recommend A Brimful of Asha - it's playing for a very limited time here in London so catch it while you can.

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