Theater: Class Act by Meherzad Patel

Meherzad Patel’s The Class Act promises plenty of laughs this weekend

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While city folk maybe in splits now with the Bangalore Comedy Fest, those who wish for more laughs could check out Meherzad Patel’s The Class Act by Silly Point Production this weekend. “Are you ready to be part of the craziest acting class?” asks Patel of the play that has completed a 100 shows all over India and abroad including Dubai, Singapore, Kuwait and Muscat.

Patel has written, directed and acted in the play. “I play the acting instructor. I took it on because the actor, who was supposed to play the role, did not turn up. The play went on and my role was automatically absorbed.”

Ask him if he specifically wrote The Class Act as a comedy, and he says he did not think it would be funny at all. “I did not attempt humour. What I learnt from experience is that humour is subjective and what one thinks is funny might not be perceived as humorous by another. What I thought of as unity in diversity and of people being a victim of circumstances is lapped up as hilarious. The laughs in The Class Act come from us being one big happy family of actors.”

The English play revolves around the chaos that ensues when four students — a veteran theatre artiste from Delhi, a Hindu, who believes in the sanctity of theatre, a 50-year-old Parsi bachelor, a laidback Goan Christian and the Muslim protagonist, come together to learn acting from an aristocratic teacher. There is more chaos when a fifth character, a wannabe actress, joins the class.

“How people from all backgrounds come together and absorb the facts of life, forms the nucleus of the play. It is a courageous attempt to remove preconceived notions,” says Patel. The serious subject is treated with humour. “I have had successful shows all over. I think that speaks of the subject matter and the maturity of the production. There is a strong message in the two-hour play, apart from abundant laughs.”

The Class Act will be staged on November 26 at MLR Convention Centre at 7 pm. Tickets at www.bookmyshow.com