MG ROAD: Festivals bring people together, and a musical by Bengaluru-based troupe Imbroglio, Rent a Christmas, is ringing in Christmas cheer this weekend.
Orphaned at a young age, businessman John Dale’s memories of what typically marks the holiday of family reunions is distant, if strong: his parents died when he was young, and he has had no other family since.
So this Christmas -- when the musical begins -- he decides to rent a Christmas. “He goes to a shop and asks its proprietor Anne Weston to rent a Christmas,” says Divyesh Bhandari of Imbroglio. “In the end, the rented Christmas becomes his own -- the happy occasion, the family.”
This contemporary adaptation of Rented Christmas, Imbroglio’s final production for the year, is a romcom suited for families, Divyesh says. “The is a popular musical with many versions online. So Jennie (George), the director of the production and creative head of Imbroglio, read a couple of versions, and came up with her own,” he says.
She has retained original character names, but the dialogues, lyrics and even music for many of the songs — except, of course, the popular carols, says Divyesh — have been recreated by Jenny.
It has not, however, been adapted to an Indian context, but rather rides on universal concepts. “It could well be Diwali, instead of Christmas,” he says. “We might never speak to our neighbours otherwise, but come Diwali, we exchange sweets.”
Nevertheless, those who miss these five shows — two on Saturday and three on Sunday — at Rangoli Metro Art Centre might not catch it till next December as Imbroglio doesn’t believe it’s suitable for any other time of year.
The cast, including Jenny, is a mix of four corporate employees and three schoolchildren, and the process of coming out with the production has brought them closer together. Perhaps, it was the script, muses Divyesh.
“We didn’t really have to get past too many theatre activities or ice-breakers to become comfortable with each other,” he says. “And our six-year-old actor cries every time when rehearsals are over because she doesn’t want to go back home.”
So it looks like Christmas has worked its magic on more than just the characters in the musical — also on the people who essay them.