a pill The Medicine Show
Homogeneity is a dated concept in today’s cross-cultural world. Believing in different acts but certain talent, Stiff Kittens (a group of avant-garde musicians and actors) brings The Medicine Show, a monthly variety show to Delhi’s cultur
al calendar. Since May, the group has been conjuring acts that tickle, impress, provoke but most importantly entertain.
Stiff Kittens comprises members of the music band Emperor Minge and The Tadpole Repertory, “a collective of theatre practitioners”. The founders of Stiff Kittens include Stefan K. of Emperor Minge and Neel Chaudhuri of The Tadpole Repertory. The show is loosely inspired from early 19th Century American “medicine shows”, which roped in various artistes to draw in the crowds to sell “miracle cures”. The acts could include anything from storytelling to circus acts and freak shows.
The Medicine Show similarly is an eccentric and nearly anarchic collection of different theatrical forms, from stand-up routines to European cabaret to puppetry. “It’s about striking a balance between comedy, dance and drama,” says Stefan. Lifting an overweight cappuccino, Neel asserts, “But it’s not just a variety show. It’s about presenting material that people might shy away from presenting in a proscenium setting.” Believing that the proscenium limits both content and style, they choose social spaces like bars and pubs as venues for this off-beat, beyond the pale show. In these more intimate and social spaces, politeness is seen as fabrication, and boundaries are all but trampled.
The last two shows have been popular, largely because The Medicine Show has piqued curiosity. The founders are clear that they will retain the spirit of adventure and prevent the show from ever becoming mainstream. Having never advertised for acts, the founders know all the artists.
This Sunday, catch The Medicine Show at Mirage, Crowne Plaza. Entry: 8 to 8.30 p.m. Show starts at 9 p.m. On offer are Emperor Minge (a music band), Antoine and Roman (French troubadours), The Tadpole Repertory in a hecklers’ sketch and Stiff Kittens paying tribute to Michael Jackson. Ace stand-up comedian Papa CJ plays host.
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