In the heart of the Bangalore city in Indira Nagar, there was an event, Playback diaries scheduled at 6.30 pm on a Sunday at Lahe Lahe.
The atmosphere was peaceful and welcoming. The show was planned on the fourth floor and on the way through the stairs the walls were filled with writings like ‘Enjoy. It’s fun’. The entrance had some printed photographs of the performers stuck on the wall. A board at the entrance said, “Please leave your ego and footwear here.” Hopes were bottling up in audience’s mind.
The show began at 6.30 in the evening. Playback diaries are theater shows where the team enacts the incidents given by the audience on the spot. The nine performers introduced themselves by enacting what type of characters they were. They described themselves as motivational, calm, sensitive, nothing-to-say type and so on.
The play started. The audience were asked to narrate any story or life incident and the performers acted it out. The first one who raised the hand was Ishaan, a 5-year-old child.
He narrated his story how did attempt a stunt ‘a few years ago’ and how he fell down from the ladder. The acting was amazing and Ishaan thanked them heartily. The next one still lies close to my heart. A man from the crowd narrated his Marathon story. “I practiced vigorously for three months for the Mumbai marathon. On the marathon day I could not perform well, as I had got cramps,” said Rajat. It was liberty to choose one person among the stage players to take up our role in the story. Rajesh, the co-ordinator of the play waved the flag to them by saying, “Let’s watch it out for Rajat.”
“Du tut um,” the play began with the drum beats. “Imaginary Rajat” started running in the marathon and suddenly one person came and jumped on him and held him tightly saying “Hey, I’m your CRAMPS, I love you.” There was a roar of applause from the crowd.
More than acting the co-ordination among them was amazing. They did not talk discuss the roles they take or the positions. It was spontaneous and that’s what playback diaries are famous for. The spontaneity, team-playing skill, communication and the presence of mind everything pooled to showcase a perfect show.
Rajesh later questioned the audience as to what they wanted to do in 2016 but could not do. Latha(name changed), a 23-year-old female raised her hand and said “Archery.” “Oooh, awesome, Latha could not do archery and let’s watch it out for her,” said Rajesh, a catalyst to a chemical reaction (the play). They performed which conveyed, “Go for it if you really wanted to.”
These performances were followed by conflict-type stories. A fair old lady raised her and said “I’m leaving India tomorrow. I want to go home, the U.S just because my family is there and ‘for nothing else’. However, I do not want to leave Bangalore.” The performer on one side of the role began saying “I do not want to leave Bangalore and blow the TRUMPhet, I do not want to go to that WALL. I want to stay in Bangalore. The other side said “Oh, my family. It’s been years since I spent time with you. I want to meet you and be with you.” The conflict stories were not judgemental but intended pun was added without harming the audience and to make the show hilarious and live.
While discussing with members of the crowd and sharing their opinion on the show, one of the performers said, “It’s not necessary to accept the bread and butter giving career as your passion. Follow it for the satisfaction of your soul.”
This event happens on the last Sunday of every month at the same location. Tickets can be found in bookmyshow.com