At the 18th edition of Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards, be prepared to be transported into the mesmerising world of Savita Rani’s theatrical performance, where she takes on the daunting task of straddling between different genres of art and leaving no stone unturned in her social critique. With just her voice, some props, and a unique stage presence, Rani takes the audience on a journey that is both captivating and thought-provoking, all while delving into the complexities of contemporary society.
The performance starts with a simple query, “To live, or leave?” which sets the tone for the rest of the show. Rani, as a woman, uses personal experiences from different aspects of her life, including her marriage, childhood, and travels across India, to show how patriarchal subjection shapes every single one of these experiences. Her monologue is about her and her experiences as a woman, but Rani combines this with a scathing critique of patriarchal society that controls every aspect of a woman’s life, including their name.
As the performance unfolds, Rani brings to light the many issues that plague our society today. Through her dramatisation, she links patriarchy with neoliberal capitalism, caste, class, globalisation, and a whole host of invisible processes that guide our decisions and lives every day. Rani’s powerful performance demands investment from her audience, not just at the level of empathy, but also at that of relatability, making everyone feel the frustration faced by her and millions of other women whose lives are controlled by patriarchal society.
But Rani’s critique doesn’t stop at the surface level. She delves deep into the root of the problem and asks how we can counter the notions that are steeped in prejudice and make the lives of everyone except those from the dominant section miserable. Through her performance, Rani challenges the audience to think critically about the society we live in, and how we can collectively bring about positive change.
Despite the heavy subject matter, Rani balances the depth of her act with humour, using it as a mechanism to make her social commentary more accessible and to interrogate the intangible elements of contemporary society. It is in this flexibility of form, genre, theme, and performance that rests the true power of Savita Rani’s act.
Join us for an unforgettable experience as we explore the notions that shape Savita Rani’s, yours, and everyone else’s lives. Rani’s performance is not just a piece of entertainment but a powerful social commentary that will leave you thinking long after the show is over.
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