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One of the biggest reasons why theatre scores more than other mediums is that it provides an opportunity to artists to interact live with the audience. The prospect for this is provided the most in mono acts. Saleem Shah’s ‘Bhelpoori’ makes full use of this genre to present a witty satire that is high on hilarity. ‘Bhelpoori’ is a stand-up mono act by Saleem Shah, who plays himself. As per the title, he narrates a number of incidents and issues that raise important questions related to the current socio-political scenario in India; all in good humor. It is mandatory for every mono act to score high on two departments. Firstly, as there is just one person on stage, there can’t be a two-way communication or conflict with someone else. Due to this, the writing has to be watertight and thankfully that is exactly what you find in ‘Bhelpoori’. The numerous events and incidents are not only interesting but also narrated in a gripping manner. The transformation of the conversation from one topic to the other is also done in a smooth manner; it blends naturally instead of being forced. Some of the points that deserve special mention include – an incident that gives a moral slap to casteism without being preachy, the actor’s friend’s unusual encounter in a hospital, Delhi police’s search for Aarushi’s killer and Shah’s opinion on airplane travel. An important factor that keeps the proceedings entertaining is the witty and tongue-in-cheek humor. In fact, there is laughter after almost every few seconds. This ensures that although the play puts forth a lot of questions related to various social issues, the general feel is entertaining throughout.  Read More...

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