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No Love Lost—Error 404 by ADA Dramatics

ADA Dramatics showcased their main production, Error 404: Love & Laughter Not Found, at the TMA Pai Halls on 4th November. The two-play event, centred around the theme of family dynamics, took the audience on a spiral of sentiments, with potent climaxes and twists at every turn.

The event began with Italian playwright Dario Fo’s one-act play The Virtuous Burglar, directed by Riddhima Singh, Ashwin Karthikeyan, and Shweta Pal. The play was a mockery of adultery in the lives of two couples who constantly found themselves in a fix as they searched vehemently for love. The drama played out on stage with intermittent cheers by the audience at the slapstick comedy.

The play unfolded with the entry of a burglar into the house of an affluent couple. The setting was simple,  with lights and sounds complementing the stage setting perfectly. The burglar portrayed as a man of nuisance stumbling in his own antics. Things took a drastic turn with the unexpected arrival of the husband and his mistress, with both of them becoming suspicious of being followed by an erstwhile detective that they thought Anna, the husband’s wife, had hired. The melodrama peaked with the couple tossing a gun around with the thought of ending their lives to prevent getting caught and the burglar finding himself caught in the crossfire between the couple.

Akash Ramesh, playing the burglar, gave a splendid performance courtesy his uncanny voice modulation and humorous expressions and movements. Another character that stole the show was Akshara Rohit as Julia, who managed to crack the audience up in laughter while still holding up the graveness of the scenes.

The second play, Kalpana, written in Hindi by Ada Ally and Paulomi Ghosh, shifted on to a more serious take on human relationships. The play revolved around the life of a painter, Kalpana, who was caught up in the strings of her past as she tried to move forward in her life after her divorce. The focus was on the conversation between Kalpana and her daughter, Riya, as the former recollected incidents of her life, which were portrayed in a gradual shift of scenes fading from the present to the past and back.

The play began with Kalpana dancing with Viraj, her newly-found love being interrupted by Riya’s arrival. This was followed by a conversation between the mother and daughter that took the audience back to a time when they were a happy family. Kalpana recounted the day when her relationship with her then-husband, Karik, took a nasty turn due to their ongoing financial tensions, leading to their divorce. A major twist at the end of the plot served as the final strike to this masterpiece.

The actors did justice to their characters, with the music aptly complimenting the play. All in all, Kalpana delivered everything that a viewer could ask for. As the curtain fell on ADA’s event, they received a fairly positive response from the audience, with the two plays having brought out different aspects and understanding of the concept of love.

Picture Credits: The Photography Club, Manipal