a man confesses that he has ‘stamped out’ countless ‘hidden fires’—human lives that are less than human to him, and then finds himself on the receiving end of the same ruthless treatment. a woman anchoring a television programme called ‘know the truth’ smiles her way dismissively through a stream of panic-stricken phone calls from viewers reporting violence in their neighbourhood, refusing to admit that the government can be wrong in its insistence that the situation is under control. the woman in ‘points’ uses the fragile flame of a candle to make important points about nationalism, patriotism and more. in ‘invocation’, the names of ordinary people are used to create a memorial to all those killed by violence through no fault of their own. ‘the wish’ – a relaxed sunday morning, a couple at home, a supernatural visitor, a wish offered – to eliminate a substantial number of people in order to make our planet a safer and better place to live in.
five powerful, hard hitting monologues in which the playwright tackles head-on issues of violence, intolerance of others, narrow concepts of community and nation, each with a twist that lifts it into the realm of real drama. award-winning playwright manjula padmanabhan, in her attempt to come to grips with the violence of these times, excels in this suite of short one-handers which leaves the viewer both shaken and thoughtful.
realitY was first performed at the alliance francaise, chennai, in 2008, the lionel wendt auditorium, colombo, sri lanka, in 2008, in vidhya niketan school, coimbatore and the kasthuri sreenivasan cultural centre, coimbatore, in 2009, and teen murti bhavan, new delhi, 2009, as part of the stand against poverty campaign of the united nations. individual monologues from realitY have also been performed at the short and sweet theatre festival in chennai in 2012 and the live in august theatre festival in 2012.
"just as the script was powerful and all-consuming, so too was the actors’ ability to communicate with the audience. one saw self-reliant, independent actors who were both progressive and sensitive." - the hindu