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Review: Pankaj Kapur’s Dreamz - Saher Leaves The Audience Baffled

The play premiered at Centrestage 2016 – Festival of Premiering Plays at NCPA and is the first of the Dreamz series.

Updated
Entertainment
2 min read
Supriya Pathak and Pankaj Kapur in a moment from the play. (Photo courtesy: NCPA)

The just-concluded Centrestage 2016 – Festival of Premiering Plays at the National Centre of Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai saw the debut of 15 plays in four languages. And the last evening was reserved for Dreamz-Saher, a Hindi-English play helmed by veteran actor-director Pankaj Kapur.

A still from the play. (Photo courtesy: NCPA)
A still from the play. (Photo courtesy: NCPA)

Dreamz-Saher is the first play of the Dreamz series, which will explore the blurred zone between dreams and reality that sometimes leaves a deep yet inexplicable impact on one’s life. And it’s quite literally so. At the end of the 45-minute long play, the audience is left a little stumped, suspended in a vaccum, not quite knowing if the play has really ended.

Dreamz-Saher revolves around Professor Sanjay Mishra, played by Kapur, who goes to Kasauli for a holiday and encounters a strange woman, Saher (Supriya Pathak Kapur). Saher is looking for her sister Nisha, and drawn to her by some strange attraction, Mishra also joins her search. A decidedly odd character who draws in Mishra and pushes him away in turns, Saher is the quintessential mystery woman. Mishra falls for her only to be deserted by her after a night together.

Pankaj Kapur as Professor Sanjay Mishra. (Photo courtesy: NCPA) 
Pankaj Kapur as Professor Sanjay Mishra. (Photo courtesy: NCPA) 
And that’s where the play ends. Both Mishra and the audience are left baffled by Saher’s last note and the play doesn’t even attempt to explore or throw any light on the mystery. Perhaps that’s exactly the feeling Kapur wanted to leave the audience with, but the combined effect of the sketchiness of the characters, the duration of the play and the ending leaves one deeply dissatisfied.
A still from the play. (Photo courtesy: NCPA)
A still from the play. (Photo courtesy: NCPA)

Both Kapur and Pathak are of course powerhouse performers, and the play does create a gamut of supporting characters who (supported ably by the props and lighting) have the potential to be really interesting, but unfortunately they remain in the fringes.

I, for one, was left quite disappointed.

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