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Gumnaam Hai Koi – A review

Gumnaam Hai Koi

Gripped!

On the 18th of February, I had the pleasure of being witness to a true mystery thriller. What better medium than theatre, to unfold, in all its glory, an Agatha Christie suspense! Stagecraft Theatre’s Gumnaam Hai Koi, an adaptation, in Hindi, of ‘And Then There Were None’ had all my senses anchored to the taut intensity on the stage.
Before Gumnaam Hai Koi started, there was a short play by Stagecraft Adda, called ‘Disconnected’. I will say little about this, because I found it too beautiful for words. Beautiful in its quiet, painfull truthfulness. That feeling, when you love something so much that you can’t let go, you simply can’t, you’d rather die than let go…I have never seen it displayed on stage in such clarity. It left me sitting silently, staring ahead, shell-shocked by the blatant honesty of the play. Hats off to Bertha Cusso, for creating a script such as this.
Then, in that tense mood, started the play, Gumnaam Hai koi…
A seaside house on a cliff, the sound of waves lashing against the cliff walls…a house party…a motley, mysterious group of people, each with his own story and complex psychological layers…Oh, Agatha Christie allright!
As a reader, I have always steered clear of literature that comes under the genre of macabre. And yet, Agatha Christie, I am very fond of. I think that’s because, in her work, the primary is the lively psychological play. Her characters are fresh, and very interesting. And how the actors have brought the characters to life! Way over and above anything I could have imagined. There was that gripping tense, scariness, which is fun, in typical Agatha Christie style, and that’s possible to actualise on stage only via phenomenal performances such as I saw on the 18th.
The set had all those doors here and windows there, perfect for the murder story to slowly unfold. The eclectic, island house, coupled with the lighting and sound…I actually got the feeling that it’s a windswept, stormy, seashore landscape outside, while its warm, and very tense, agitated indoors. The sound of seagulls indicating a new morning, a spell of rain to diffuse the tension for a while…how brilliant is that!
There were scenes in candlelight, with only a part of the stage lit and the other in complete darkness. And as the actor, holding a candle, moves towards the other side, a murder is suddenly revealed!!
And the climax? Oh goodness. Scary. Scary as a true Agatha Christie villain. Music and lights are anxious, restless, as a master actor takes us through the twisted working of the murderer’s mind. The mystery unravels and the pieces of the puzzle come together.
The tension goes on building, to a full blown, brilliant psychological drama, and a then a sharp crack of a gun shot, and lights out! And there you are, still gripping you seat, the intensity and unexpectedness of the ending still washing over you. The amazement at such intricate mental complexity still washing over you.

Watch the photographs of the play

About the Author

Passionate about performing arts but to earn a living heads the business and administration division of SANIsoft, and is co-founder of Shdlr.com

2 comments

  1. Glamour, fame, recognition, razzle dazzle….that is how stage is perceived by people sitting and watching, not that it makes them necessarily ignorant but it does happen when you see the arc-lights, sitting comfortably in your seats…All this appeal, so wonderful and enchanting but it is only a by-product….What goes into putting actors on stage to perform is sheer hard work, consistency, dedication and lot of commitment from each and everyone….
    Right from the genesis and conception of an idea – a story, to presenting it on stage and every thing in between is a tough grind, a long haul and loads and loads of labour and sweat and yes PASSION!!!
    You have just so brilliantly written about the performances, sound effects, lighting and the sets that i am at a loss for words.
    I just wanted to congratulate each and everyone especially the team who worked behind the stage. They never crave and care less if they are recognised or not, but without them and their fervor, nothing is possible…They are the real heroes….KUDOS to all of them and their team work…. CHEERS!!!

  2. Hello sir and all the artists.. I haven’t watch any of the plays yet.. But I love acting.. And I love people who performs different characters.. And I want to be one loved by the people who watch me acting on the stage.. I am always afraid to be insulted So I didn’t go for auditions or anything.. But I love acting.. May I know about the theatre arts?? Please can you take auditions?? I want to perform.. I want to be an actor.. You people are really amazing who have that much confident to perform in front of live audience.. I love you all.. All the best.. Have a great life ahead.. And congratulations for your dreams came true.. May god always bless you..

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