Hanging in There with ‘Hang On’

November 8, 2023

In a world of unlimited entertainment options, the age old ‘Live Theatre’ still finds itself relevant and ever evolving with exceptional storytelling and remarkable acting that leaves the audience utter entranced. From the skilful play with lights to the smart utilisation of props, it’s always the stage presence of the actors that leave the audience wondering about the imaginative prowess of the human mind.

This enchanting world of live theatre unfolded its magic yet again in the LF Rasquinha Hall of St Aloysius College (Autonomous), Mangaluru when the multilingual play ‘Hang On ‘, designed and directed by the talented director Mr Clanwin Fernandis was performed successfully for the seventh time. The play has a very interesting plot focussing on the complexities of human relationships, art, passion and the enduring idea of hope. From a lasting memory of a magnificent tree in a small village prompting the imagination of an artist to the trials and tribulations of the ever-expectant success in professional life, the protagonist played by Mr Claren Serrao struggles to balance the wheels of life. A potent mix of emotions with the underlying humour shining bright, the characters bring to life the long-discussed dilemma of a scintillating career over uncompromising passion.

A simple designed set against a black background allowing the maestro Christerpher D’Souza Neenasam work his magic with lights, complemented the easiness of the flow of emotions on stage. With the events of life forcing the artist to contemplate suicide more than once, the play strongly dialogues about the role society plays in making or breaking the creative self of an individual which is to be nurtured and protected until it finds its wings to soar high in the skies of multifaceted success.

The masterful play with the carefully crafted lyrics and rustic folk music by the creative musicians of Ranga Adhyayana Kendra adds great flavour to the already rich understanding of the well planned and executed narrative. The great William Shakespeare once said, “As in a theatre, the eyes of men, after a well graced actor leaves the stage, are idly bent on him that enters next.” The director’s expertise in efficiently balancing the nuances of his character’s presence along with their relevance with the broader themes of the script is a treat to watch. The efforts at using symbolism and foreshadowing along with the perfect pacing of the production, adds depth to the complexity of the play encaptivating the imagination of the audience and reminding them about the profound potential of storytelling.

On the whole, the play leaves the audience a lot to ponder after the curtain falls. The witty dialogues combined with the dramatic momentousness of the events of life can be considered a triumph of storytelling and a true testament to the power of live theatre. The play explores its themes of hope, love, commitment, passion and endurance in way both relatable and evocative. The talented cast and skilled production team combined, serve a moving, thought provoking and a delightful theatrical experience of the highest level that justifies Constantine Stanislavski’s words, “The theatre infests the audience with noble ecstasy”.

By Biddappa M A
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