Vinay Pathak steals the show in Nothing Like Lear
If you want to go through a roller-coaster ride of rolling-on-the-floor laughter and heart-wrenching grief, then catch up Rajat Kapoor directed ‘Nothing Like Lear’. Giving a solo performance during the 80-minute play, Vinay Pathak just mesmerizes the audience by his brilliance, charm and sense of humour.
Based on William Shakespeare’s tragic play ‘King Lear’, this play is just the opposite or simply ‘nothing like Lear’ as it makes you laugh uncontrollably and sometimes makes you hold your stomach tight to keep yourself from falling. Besides, it was full of emotions to bring a lump in the throat. But humour is the underlying aspect of this brilliant play.
It’s Vinay Pathak’s performance that drives you insane. He comes on the stage even before the final bell and coaxes latecomers to sit in front besides clearing the air that ‘it (the show) hasn’t started yet’. And when the light finally dims and comes out again, the actor takes you to a journey that is simply unforgettable.
In a monologue, it’s important to keep the audience engaged. And Vinay does that masterfully. He keeps forgetting names of ‘professionals’ and reprimands the audience when they prompt him. It brings the house down with laughter.
Vinay’s improvisation was out of the world. He comes up with unique one-liners that seem impromptu. He even took a few digs at his director for not giving him a chair during the performance.
The audience was all ears ,trying to catch all his jokes. Vinay had such a spellbound effect on the audience that not even for once our eyeballs were off him. Even when he took a minute drink break on stage, he blended it beautifully with his performance by giving a Shakespearean twist to it. What an innovation. The best part about Vinay’s performance was his body language. It was a character in itself. His body movements, miming, bodily expressions catching the different moods of the play was simply engrossing and absorbing.
Scenes where he plays with an imaginary ball or with his crawling daughter and many others looked so real that it seemed there were couple of actors more in the play. Hats off! What a performer.
Vinay also had a great script to play with. But it was Vinay who brought the play alive with his power-packed performance. He lifted quite a simple play to great heights, thanks to his acting prowess.
The play tells the story of a father’s longing for his daughter who gives him cold shoulder whenever he tries to connect with her. The play also had a few sub-plots such as that of a ‘bastard’ brother. The scenes concerning the ‘bastard brother’ were most hilarious and made even funnier when he spoke about it in the Indian context. Just hilarious.
Besides, there were also some local references added to suit it to Bangaloreans. As a result, the play got instant connect with the audience. Moreover, the lighting and sound were so brilliantly done that it felt that those were characters in itself.
Also, a few words of praise for Rajat Kapoor, the director of the play, for bringing out such a humorous take on a tragic play by William Shakespeare. In fact, if Shakespeare were to see this, he would have been mighty pleased with this adaptation of his play. And as far as the audience reaction goes, they just couldn’t have enough of it and deservedly gave a standing ovation to the play and most precisely to the star of the show, Vinay Pathak.