Spontaneous Combustion–Buckingham Secret at NCPA
JULY 2, 2017, MUMBAI
An innocent theatre novice like me was duly impressed by the Tata Theatre at NCPA. The building housing the NCPA is placed so prominently much like the Sydney Opera House at the edge of land reclaimed from the sea at Nariman Point.
One good thing that I did or omitted to do, thankfully, was read up on the play. I really expected a boring Palace murder mystery. Therefore I was pleasantly surprised at being hit smack in the face by this unique genre of theatre–Parsee Gujarati.
The well dressed people and the tea and snacks counter reminded me of Chandigarh in the 1960s when people went so enthusiastically to see the one English movie show per week in the evening at Jagat Cinema.
It is a big theatre hall and the centre seats facing the stage filled up quickly but the wings remained rather empty. The glass I would say was more than half full. The cast of actors will always be stellar for me after this performance.
I must admit that I was looking as much at the audience as at the stage. I was pleasantly surprised to find such rip-roarious laughter at the Parsee-Gujarati jokes especially the women I could see loved them. The audience reaction can only be called Spontaneous Combustion Laughter. The hall goes up in a roar as if someone had hit a sixer at the punch lines. Danesh Irani is superb as Prince Phillip and so is Meherzad Patel as the Butler.Sabira Merchant of course is superb as the queen and I loved her bright yellow, blue and red dresses so Elizabethan II. Everyone did justice to their assigned place in the British royal family. I would not like to say more in order not to reveal the gems of surprise hidden in the play Buckingham Secret. A must see.