By Manju Sampat.
Making Noise Productions who recently produced Agatha Christie’s “And then there were None”, are back with another play, “Go Back for Murder” also based on an Agatha Christie book, “Five Little Pigs”. They performed this play at Andrews over the weekend.
Laura Mishra, who directs and acts in “Go Back for Murder”, has adapted the play to an Indian milieu. Unlike other Christie classics, this story reconstructs something that happened sixteen years ago. So we see Chloe Castelino (Laura Mishra) the main protagonist of this play, take the other characters in the play back in time to reconstruct a murder that happened almost a decade and a half ago. Chloe’s mother Vivianne, is said to have killed her artist husband Mikhail Miranda. However, Chloe is convinced of her mother’s innocence as this was intimated to her in a letter written by her mother. The rest of the action unfolds in Goa where Chloe comes to, from her home in London, in order to clear her mother’s name.
She teams up with Philip Calisto (Navin Talreja) a solicitor. Together they try and reconstruct the scene of the murder that happened when Chloe was just five years old. In order to do so, they have to get all the main characters who were present on that fateful day, to the scene of the crime, Alderbury, her parents’ home. These include her father’s good friends Imran and Rafiq Harihar, Elsa Fernandes, her father’s mistress, Pedro, her mother’s half brother and his governess Miss Chacko. Chloe arrives at Alderbury with Philip Calisto and through them we learn that Mikhail Miranda was rather an insensitive bloke who brought his mistress Elsa (Prerna Talwar) to live in his house, ostensibly to paint her. Incidentally this portrait which is displayed on stage for quite a while, is really beautifully painted! After many twists and turns it transpires that it was due to the poison in his glass of beer, that Mikhail Miranda met his untimely end. Was it jealousy that made Vivianne murder him? Or could someone else have had an equally urgent reason to do away with Mikhail Miranda (Tanmay Ranjan)? Ultimately it is Philip Calisto who ends up becoming a Goan Hercule Poirot, and is instrumental in solving this murder mystery, that has quite an unexpected ending.
The sets are very functional and versatile and by using wooden blocks and thin curtains, the production team manages quick scene changes. Playing popular Goan folk songs in the background is a very effective ploy. The actors are consistent throughout but undoubtedly it is Laura Mishra as Chloe who excels, while Prerna Talwar as Elsa lends her able support. Certainly worth your while to see it when it is performed again later this month.