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Off the beaten track

KAUSALYA SANTHANAM

Dummies' Creations' `ICU' dealt with an unusual theme.

PHOTO: K. V. Srinivasan

INTERESTING PLOT: `ICU'

`ICU' by Dummies Theatre group was presented as part of the drama festival held recently by the Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, at the Mylapore Fine Arts Club auditorium. The play, as can be expected, is set in a nursing home. When the daughter of a senior politician is admitted here in a critical state, the doctors rally around to save her.

The chief of the hospital takes the brunt of the politician's ire. He is unable to attend to the preparations for his daughter's wedding because the case needs his complete attention. And to compound the confusion, his daughter's future father- in-law turns up at the nursing home. The chief now has to seek the help of the young and brilliant surgeon Arjun, whom he had treated very badly because he fell in love with his daughter.

`ICU', written and directed by Sreevathson, managed to sustain the audience's interest. It was different from the usual family drama and the way in which the plot unfolded held one's attention. But it did not measure up to Sreevathson's previous play " Vinodaya Chitham," which was a good blend of the philosophical and the humorous and where all the characters were well delineated. The motiveless malignity of the chief detracted from `ICU"s impact. But in a work that dealt with possessiveness and the destructive quality of the ego, this was understandable.

Irritating

What one could not fathom was how such an irritating character as the father-in-law is allowed to run amuck in the nursing home (and the play). If the purpose was to lighten the tone of the narrative and provide relief, a better device could have been thought of. It was also hard to believe that Arjun held no rancour towards the boss who had caused him so much harm.

The sets were quite shoddy. The nursing home, supposedly, was a reputed one. But the chief's room with its dusty bookshelves and general air of shabbiness belied its reputation. Ramesh as Arjun, Sreevathson as the chief and Sunderarajan as the veteran surgeon Nagesh were competent. The voices of the actors were often inaudible.

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