Ever thought of what Pulp Fiction would look like in a play, on Wednesday, Le Chayim theatre productions; brought us an interesting surprise in a dark comedy taken from the award winning play by Martin McDonagh called “The Pillowman”. The play is a dark reminder to all writers who tend to “enjoy” writing horrific stories with worse endings. Stephen King had once talked about how when he wrote his million short stories the ideas always came at the end of a “What if” moment. But I wonder if he ever thought of “what if” whatever he wrote were true!
There is a lot of Kafka-ism (a new ism word for the day) in the play. The concept of the police state, the lack of control over one’s own writing, the weaknesses of a totalitarian society, all reveal themselves layer by layer in a small interrogation room. Katurian, a writer of twisted, dark short stories, is being interrogated by 2 detectives, Topolsky and Ariel, because of the close resemblance of his stories to the bizarre incidents in his town. The story moves on to why the writer writes what he writes and the unconventional concepts hidden in his stories. The star of the play was clearly director Kashin Shetty who plays the sarcastic detective Topolsky. He is effortless in his comedy and manages to bring out the various layers of the nihilist detective.
The highlight of course remains how the cast clicks as a unit; the production has clearly excelled since its debut in 2006. The entire presentation, be it characters finding more than one entry point or the unique lighting effects or the parallel story telling of Katurian’s stories, comes together as a unique comedy. At some places, the audience laughed realizing how inappropriate it is to laugh at something so sinister. Managing to make blood work funny, the play is the perfect candidate for pulp fiction in contemporary theatre. Can’t wait to catch another Thespo@Prithvi play soon!