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Chuk Bhul Dhyavi Ghyavi’, veteran actor, Marathi playwright and humourist Dilip Prabhavalkar’s humorous play, was staged as part of two short, one-act plays under the aegis of the Auckland Marathi Association earlier this month. The other play was local writer-director Omkar Upadhye’s ‘Imarat’.

Building on a strong script, Gaurav Sawant excelled in his roles as both director and lead actor, delivering an excellent performance alongside an equally brilliant Ambaree Rege. The story revolves around an aging couple, with the man (Sawant) deciding to confess his long gone foibles to lighten the burden of the guilt he has been carrying all through his married life.

The memories come alive on stage as the actors seamlessly alternate between their different stages in life wearing or taking off a headdress or a shawl to denote flashbacks/ present time while on stage even as the dialogues are delivered. The play is filled with witty dialogue and humorous situations, as well as moments of heartfelt emotion and poignant reflection.

Sawant delivered a superb performance in the lead role, bringing both depth and humour to his portrayal of a man grappling with the guilt and his much delayed mea culpa (in fact a series of them) to his wife of decades. His chemistry with co-star Rege was natural and their scenes together were a highlight of the performance. Rege’s portrayal of the wise, equanimous wife of many decades, who seemed mildly unsurprised by the revelations couldn’t have been better, as was her flawless delivery of the final denouement.  

The supporting cast was equally impressive, with each actor bringing a unique energy and personality to their roles. The humour was well-timed and had the audience laughing throughout, while the underlying themes of love, acceptance, and self-improvement added a deeper layer of meaning to the play.

Sawant’s skilful direction allowed the actors to shine and brought out the best in their performances. The play moved at a perfect pace, never dragging or losing momentum, which made for a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable experience.

The humorous moments were delivered with impeccable timing, with the audience erupting in laughter at just the right moments. The set design was basic yet purposeful the costumes apt and the lighting adequate, contributing to the overall ambience and visual appeal of the play.

Auckland based writer-director Omkar Upadhye’s ‘Imarat’, which was staged first, was a good effort but with a rather predictable plot. Manjiri Pathak’s lead role as the naïve young wife was memorable, and quite like Rege, one would like to see more of her on the stage.

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