It costs Rs 40 to watch a performance by the Sri KBR Drama Company of Davanagere that’s currently performing at the Rangamandira in Gandhinagar. Within 10 minutes the theatre is more than half full. It’s a decent crowd. The average age is just above 35 and all male. Most of them look like Government employees on their way back home or small traders in Benglur for business.
The drama itself is a collection of comedy performances that you see during award functions on any South Indian channel, interspersed with songs where the hero and heroine do some half-hearted dancing around the two microphones on the stage. A loose thread connects them to form a story and you will not miss much if you walk in half-way or step out before the performance is over. It’s more a group standup comedy act than a drama. Completing the performance is a digital drum set/synthesiser just below the stage drumming up the laughter. Adding to the effect is the man seated next to him controlling the lights.
The quality of the jokes is only slightly better than what you would see on the average TV award show. They were full of double-meanings, about sex and female body parts, and extracted whistles and claps from the audience. When they were not, there were a few good jokes about the current state of Kannada films. Luckily, the Bombay-Karnataka accent has a charm that can make even the dirtiest jokes sound nice.
The hero looked and dressed like Suresh Heblikar from Aalemane. He seemed to have much more in him and maybe, a solo stand up comedy show by him would be big hit with the masses.
See the full Drama Series here.