Review by Manju Sampat
One of Delhi’s leading theatre groups, The Films and Theatre Society,
together with Coconut Theatre, launched their new play “Dads
Girlfriend” this weekend at St. Andrews Auditorium in Bandra.
Atul Satya Koushik who is known for his other successful plays like Chakravyuh featuring Nitish Bharadwaj, Draupadi, featuring Rakesh Bedi and Himani Shivpuri, Raavan Ki Ramayan, that was also recently performed in Mumbai, featuring Puneet Issar, now gives us something totally different. He has written and directed this hilarious play which is an urban family entertainer in Hinglish. After many successful shows in Delhi, this theatrical extravaganza “Dad’s Girlfriend” comes to Mumbai.
“Dads Girlfriend” is the story of Mr. Vaidya, a famous and reputed author, speaker and professor, who in his quest for success, could never quite devote himself fully to his wife or daughter. He comes from the U.S. to visit his daughter Diya, who is married to Kanav, a struggling theatre artist, a profession Vaidya disapproves of. Suman Vaidya is perfectly cast as the middle aged Vaidya and very ably plays his role. Apart from this father-daughter bonding, there is Kanav entertaining us with his witty punches and clever one liners! Satyendra Malik is spot on as Kanav, and keeps the audience entertained right through the play. Karishma Singh as Diya is also very convincing. Things get a bit out of hand and take a rather awkward and funny turn when Avni, an old student and an ardent fan of Vaidya’s, happens to run into him and starts seeing him quite often, and in fact she moves in with his family! Anumeha Jain does a fine job as Avni. She is also a writer and wants Vaidya to get her book published. Though much younger than Vaidya she falls in love with him, as she wants a “man not a boy”. Diya too is desperate for her father’s affection and time.
In the end, Vaidya finds himself standing at crossroads, needing to make a choice between his newfound fatherhood and closeness to his daughter Diya, and the elusive love he was always seeking. This delightful play is indeed a funny tale of lost and found relationships and life and laughter. Atul Satya Koushik, the writer and director of this play, says, “After doing historical and mythological plays, I always wanted to do something modern and comical. Two years ago I got an idea to work on human relations, and I’m glad it turned out so well and is receiving so much love wherever we perform it.”
The sets by Gulfam Mohammed and his team, are excellent and extremely functional. The costumes and lighting effects are also really good. Do see this play, as there is an additional show at the Royal Opera House.