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Stage
The Red Curtain stages See You in the Backfield! at Gyan Manch. Pictures: Pabitra Das

See you in the backfield!

Group: The Red Curtain
Director: Sumit Lai Roy
Production design: Katy Lai Roy
Production styling: Sunayana Roy
Cast: Nivedita Bhattacharya, Surjya Kar, Baisali Chatterjee Dutt and Deborshi Barat

Inspired by Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage, Calcutta-based theatre group The Red Curtain staged See You in the Backfield!, in association with t2, at Gyan Manch on December 20 and 21.

The one-and-a-half-hour satire is a laugh riot that targets our inability to live with our differences.

The story goes like this — two kids get into a fight in the backfield of their school. The parents decide to meet to teach them etiquette. In the course of the evening, it turns out that they too can’t live with their differences.

“Only one character is taken straight from the original — the lawyer whose cellphone keeps ringing. The other characters are stereotypical Calcutta high-society individuals,” said director Sumit Lai Roy.

The Red Curtain women’s team put up a strong act — Baisali Chatterjee Dutt as a Tagore specialist who’s proud of her “educated son” and Nivedita Bhattacharya as a “published Marwari author” who wants to win the Nobel Peace Prize. “There is no script that we used. It has been done like a jazz ensemble, full of improvisation,” added Roy.

The male characters — a Bengali-at-heart lawyer and a Marwari businessman, both Xaverians who get nostalgic about the “backfield” of their school — are well played by Deborshi Barat and Surjya Kar.

See You in the Backfield! was staged to raise funds and awareness for Seagull’s Peaceworks initiative in Kashmir.

The play is very funny and seeing the audience, you can tell they are really enjoying it. I think the actors are brilliant. They are improvising their dialogues, which is very difficult. Red Curtain should put up many more such shows. Sumit Roy and his team have done a lovely job.
— Alyque Padamsee, ad guru

The play was very nice, very entertaining. It definitely is a modern, real story. I enjoyed it very much.
— Rinku Soni, homemaker

Totally entertaining, very well performed, very well directed.
— Paridhi Agarwal, entrepreneur

I think they worked very well with the improvisations. The actors are of a very high calibre. The concept is very different. It is very realistic and entertaining.
— Siddharth Sengupta, student