What does a widow say to her dead husband’s lover? What is Pia paying her best friend to do? Why does Gopi want a divorce? Does Rishi have diminished capacity?…..Richa Grover reviews Espresso Sho(r)ts by Aks Arts
Aks Arts is a not-for-profit theatre company driven by the energy and passion of City workers who are looking to bring social change and connectivity through theatre. Founded in 2009, by a group of bankers and consultants, Aks has gone from strength to strength: running workshops, doing short plays and over 12 full-length productions so far and others are in the pipeline.
The vision of Aks is to bring together people from all walks of life together in a shared space where reality and utopia constantly collide to create art. Aks, the hindi-urdu word for ‘reflection’ aims to be a mirror to contemporary society.
Aks brings together a team from range of life experiences and professional engagements; from bankers to social workers – their creative canvas is variously shaded. This vibrant mix of people has been inspiring and instructive, and enables them to interpret the art of acting and directing in ways that are simple, enjoyable and far-reaching.
Espresso Sho(r)ts, their 2016 production which was inspired by conversations overheard in various London coffee shops. Honest and humorous, this refreshing production sees four actors playing multiple roles across five different stories in one play.
The simple but effective set held objects which signified each story, and the play program masqueraded a a menu. An aroma of coffee in the cozy 60-seater venue, and the use of coffee shop sounds between each piece were used to set the scene.
The inspiration for this production was real life conversations about relationships, and the play brings together uncomfortable conversations, fun chats between friends, and a crazy couple who find love in a coffee shop. Espresso Sho(r)ts was an evening of real and unbelievable conversations set in a London coffee shop.
Gopi wanted a divorce. Pia’s lingerie was scratchy. Sharon didn’t like prunes. It was an evening of theatre and voyuerism as we got a peep into the lives of the those two on the next table at the coffee shop, to show what one has always wondered – what are they talking about on that table? It was a houseful show Starring: Rachana Reddy, Ashish Chordia, Ankur Chopra and Neha Jain
Written by Henry Meyerson, Julianne Homokay, inspired by Surinder Verma, this production brought together a range of vignettes in a single 1 hour production.
Aks has created several sell out shows, garnering the attention of a range of British and Indian newspapers including the Independent, the Guardian theatre blog in London and the Asian Age in New Delhi.
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