It's short, sweet and swings from one end of the emotion pendulum to the next. And what's more, you get to see all of Chennai's talent on the same stage, with theatre veterans rubbing shoulders with the young debutants – the first week of Short and Sweet Chennai 2013 had it all.
Presented by the Blue Lotus Foundation and Prakriti Foundation in collaboration with Alliance Francaise and the Australian High Commission of Chennai, the third edition of Short and Sweet Chennai will see a total of 40 plays shortlisted from a list of over 150 entries over the course of three weeks.
The opening week had a lovely mix of all things theatre – from hilarious scenes about buying a towel and sweet reminisces by an old couple to several well performed monologues and murders, including a story about how a killer-for-hire is asked to kill himself, named The Peach. Performed by Dushyanth Gunasekar and Vaishwath Shankar and directed by Tanvi Patel, The Peach was one of those plays that was a delight to watch.
The other two highlights of the set were Vasudev Menon's The Particle Collider – a story about how a bored housewife (narrated by a brilliant Vaishnavi Sundararajan) murders her cheating husband; and Chennai Drama House's The Towel. Written and directed by Vivek Rajagopal, co-founder of the group, the short play is CDH's first attempt at English theatre – a fact clearly shown by the dialogue delivery and the timing of the punchlines, but the attempt really worked.
There was also a wildcard round, with eight shortlisted scripts and a guest performance. The wildcard round had several interesting scripts – including a play about three babies who come into the world and a brilliant mime depicting the Chile Miner landslide, performed by the Blaze Academy. Stray Factory's Maya From Madurai, peformed by Venkatesh Harinathan and directed by Pooja Balu, deserves special mention.