Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Review of 'All Thieves'

Summary : Interesting. Thought-provoking. Witty / cynical / tongue-in-cheek. Definitely worth a watch.

Those who want to know more can read on.

‘All Thieves’ is produced by ‘Motley’, with Denzel Smith, Heeba Shah, Imaad Shah, and Ankur Vikal as the cast. ‘All Thieves’ is not one full-length play, but a collection of seven short stories. Four of these are borrowed from Italo Calvino (‘The Black Sheep’, ‘Making Do’, ‘Good For Nothing’ and ‘Conscience’), and the rest from Haruki Murakami, Mohan Rakesh and Kamtanath.

A wide variety of themes are explored in these stories - love, marriage, people’s reactions to authority, outliers creating disorder where there was order (of a kind), the reason for being part of a war etc. Some of the stories are a wry and cynical look at social phenomena, while some twist an aspect of common happenings and then humourously focus on them. The dialogue is crisp and the denouement swift in most pieces.

Apart from an economy of words, the play also uses props sparsely; mostly minimal furniture, and in one story, a blackboard used well for maximum effect. The background score comprises some really good music, ranging from the song 'Bombshell Baby of Bombay' from an obscure Hindi movie called ‘Ek Phool Chaar Kaante’ to 'Everybody Knows' by Leonard Cohen and lots of jazz / blues.

I could feel my attention wandering during the two Hindi pieces and feel these would have benefited from tighter editing. Other than this, I have no quibbles with the play and thoroughly enjoyed it. The pieces written by Italo Calvino, in particular, were my favourites and I have decided that this is one author/playwright I must read in future.

Zenobia D. Driver

(p.s. Links to two of the songs below :

(p.p.s Link to a review of the play that expresses an opinion different from mine -

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