The Bitter Sweet ‘Laddu’ enthrals Sydneysiders

By Rekha Rajvanshi

Once again, Vipul Vyas, a veteran director, producer and actor has made a mark by producing his new play, for the charity ”˜Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation, Australia (EVF).’

A well-scripted, directed and acted play ”˜Shaadi ka Laddu aur Laddu ki Shaadi’ was staged on Saturday, July 28 at NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art).   The play was a hilarious farce on marriage with the sole purpose of entertaining the audience.

In a fully packed theatre, the play started with two Sutradhars – the narrators acted by Vipul Vyas and Aparna Tijorivala on stage. Both Vipul and Aprana are  seasoned actors having acted in many plays together in the past.   They introduced four prospective grooms, who are looking for suitable partners. The boys have their own wish lists and the Sutradhars promise to find four beautiful brides as per their requirement.

Hence starts the story of romance, expectations and frustrations. All four grooms are excited to see their future brides and agree to do everything for them. Once they get married things turn topsy turvy for all couples except the first one ”“ played by Hemal Joshi and Jyotsana, who make a homely, accommodating couple, in love with each other. Second couple is a Bengali family, where the groom (Abhishek Mehrotra) lives with his bossy mother and hen pecked father. His mother forces both father and son to do house hold chores and abuses them physically. Baba, (played by Pradip Pandya, an experienced theatre actor) as the battered old man keeps on planning how to take revenge on his dominating wife. Things change when his son marries a smart, bossy and romantic girl Bindoo. Third couple played by Abhishek Sood and Mansi Gandhi are also trying in every way to adjust to each other. The bride is a typical middle class religious girl, who gets upset with her husband because he lied to her before marriage.


Two more characters enter in the middle of this saga ”“ Kashmira Sachania, a spiritual lady, who suggests various ”˜Jadu Tona’ tricks to fix Abhishek’s gambling and drinking habits. Second character is ”˜Lungi Bhaiyya’ acted by Rushi Dave, owner of Abhishek’s house (kholi). He appeared on stage twice and the audience cheered his Sanjay Dutt style dialogue delivery.

Fourth couple’s story belongs to a middle class family mired in its typical Indian saas-bahu complaints. Akshat Gupta as husband, caught between the two, Akanksha Srivastava as the wife and Suman Mathur the demanding mother-in-law, all three carried their roles with aplomb. Akshat almost goes mad sorting out the quibbles between the two warring ladies on his own home turf –   the domineering overly demanding mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law, a total rebel.

The dialogues were witty, and all the four couples did full justice to the roles assigned to them, depicting accents from different regions of India, yet culturally the values, more or less similar, the expectations, and how each couple handled the marital situation they are faced with, brought forth hilarious consequences. The audience, thoroughly enjoyed the play, laughing through most of the play, especially women who could easily identify with various scenarios that were simply funny.

In the second part of the play, all married couples feel cheated and all the hubbies thus want a divorce. They end up with the Sutradhars begging, who promise to fix everything. When they reach home, the boys find, to their surprise, the wives fully transformed as per their wishes. All the four actresses – Jyotsana, Bindoo, Mansi and Akanksha played their double roles well. But their new avataars rather disappoint the husbands and they beg again on their knees to the Sutradhars to have their original wives back, no matter what, even the mother-in-law, happy to have her rude daughter-in-law back. But then the wives all join in asking for a divorce frustrating the scenes further. The message conveyed through the play was that no marriage is perfect; that it is a work in progress.

Team’s mammoth effort was evident throughout the night. The flow of dialogues kept the audience fully engaged through out. Script was adapted excellently well by Saral Somaiya. Back stage was looked after ably by the production controller Kamini Pandya, background music was by Tushar Bose, lights by Sagar Agashe, makeup and costume were designed by Sandhya Bose and tickets/admin support was provided by Parag Tijoriwala.

The only complaint being where have all these fine young actors of Sydney been   hiding up until now. ‘Laddu Ki Shaadi…’ brought forth eight talented actors who worked hard for months and delivered a fine punch to all those stage plays that come from overseas. Rishi Dave, Suman Mathur were too good. We have, right here in Sydney, our own excellent actors, this play proved it. Vipul, Aparna and Pradip Pandya ji, keep producing such plays and keep Sydney entertained.

Credit of this wonderful production goes to Vipul Vyas, who has been directing, presenting and performing in a number of successful Hindi and Gujrati plays over the last 20 years. The proceeds from the play were donated to Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of Australia (EVF Australia), a non-profit organisation, involved in education and development of poor children in the remote villages and tribal areas of India.

Our aspiring brides and grooms need to understand that accepting and appreciating each other is the mantra of a successful marriage. Perhaps, it is rightly said: ”˜Shaadi ka Laddu,  jo Khaaye vo Pachhtaaye, aur jo na Khaaye, vo bhi Pachhtaaye.’

TIDU asked some Sydney theatre lovers about their opinion on the play – ‘Shaadi Ka Laddu…’, do read what they had to say:

”˜It was a great play with excellent performance from all, culmination of months hard work. Well done Vipul and the entire team.’ ”“ Gurudutt Shenoy

”˜As always Vipul created a show that is entertaining and worth watching. Actors maintained a relationship with the spectators throughout the play. Well done team!’ – Rajeev Maini

”˜Crisp dialogues, committed characters, perfect pace and high energy. SKLLKS was a wholesome drama. It was a treat.’ ”“ Jyotsna Talwar

(Rekha Rajvanshi is a Freelance Writer, an Art and Theatre Critic)



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