The Capital last week was under the spell of Weekend Cocktail, a play which was a heady mix of excellent acting with superb music. It brought authors like W Somerset Maugham, Sholom Aleichem, Roald Dahl alive on stage.
Their classics like Tevye Wins a Fortune, Lamb to the Slaughter and Mr Know All were transformed from page to stage.
The director Ravi Raj Sagar, an IIT graduate, explained: ‘Because the evening is a mélange of these diverse offerings, served with a dash of music, the play perfectly fits the title Weekend Cocktail. We were looking for stories which could lend themselves to dramatisation and I remembered Tevye, Lamb to the Slaughter, Mr Know All — stories which had stayed with me since school. Not only were these short stories with interesting endings but also allowed me to put in some beautiful songs.’
Sagar has added songs like Diamonds are Forever to Mr Know All and Tea for Two to Lamb...
‘I chose these particular stories, firstly because they are acknowledged classics. They lend themselves to dramatisation and I had the cast. For example, I have Reuben Israel, an accomplished singer who sings with various choirs in Delhi, to essay the role of Tevye. And he dances so well to it, too,’ said Sagar who has to his credit hit musicals like Fiddler on the Roof and Hello Dolly.
‘Selecting each song was a critical decision as the lyrics should fit in with the narrative,’ explained Sagar.
The mix of authors in the Weekend Cocktail is certainly a sassy idea. Somerset Maugham has written fabulous fiction, Sholom Aleichem is known for his funny Yiddish stories and Roald Dahl for his masterworks with a bizarre ending.
‘Their works are rich in content, characters and theme. Adapting them for my play was not an easy affair as the director should be careful about transcripting the story and treatment keeping the original essence intact,’ Sagar explained.
He ensures all his productions are an addition to the original. If you want to catch the action, it’s happening in town soon.
At: Alliance Francaise, Lodi Estate
When: 15- 16 September
Timings: 7 Pm Onwards