‘Ouch!’ ”“ a humorous play with some bitter truths behind the world of glamour

By Rekha Rajvanshi

After the incredible success of ”˜Guards at the Taj’, well known theatre artiste and director Jyotsna Sharma’s second directorial outing ”˜Ouch!’ was enjoyed by Sydney drama lovers. Produced by Heart & Soul productions, the play was staged in Zenith Theatre, Chatswood on March 30, 2019.

Ouch! is originally a German play written by Lutz Hubner and adapted in English by theatre veteran Sohaila Kapur.

The play projects a comical yet insightful journey of three women, who, in the quest for their dream jobs, rediscover themselves and the meaning of friendship, in the unlikeliest of circumstances and place. The story revolves around a studio where these young girls (Jyotsna Sharma, Bindoo and Avantika Tomar) from completely different backgrounds arrive with a burning desire to be TV anchors. Initially they can’t stand each other as bitter rivalry and competition gets the better of them, but as the story moves forward their dynamics start to change for the better.

The play unmasks the bitter truth behind the workings of glamourous TV shows. The production reflects on the pain, anguish and humiliation, which aspiring TV and film strugglers deal with in their tough journey for an elusive fame.

All actors did complete justice to their role. Jyotsna Sharma as Meenu, a small town girl of Punjab, did a great job and spoke accented Desi English ensuring audience laughter throughout the play, whereas Bindoo as Purnima from Delhi was very temperamental. Anxious about the pressure her own mother put on her she got hysterical easily leading to loud and frequent outbursts. The third character Jojo Juneja from Mumbai was overconfident, street smart and certain of getting the gig.  She was also blunt, critical and cruel. The conflict between the women reached at its peak when things ended up getting physical. But as the play progressed they become more empathetic towards each other eventually uniting against the invisible ”˜Wicked’ TV producer, who provoked them throughout to promote his own agenda.

The role of the producer was played ably by Rushi Dave, ”˜the voice’, that watches the girls constantly, similar to Big Brother/Big Boss on TV. He revealed his shady side as he unravelled the insecurities of all three women bit by bit, piece by piece. 

‘Ouch!’- a multimedia production is a telling commentary on the pomp, glitter and hype associated with reality television. The play ends with no winners at the end apart from some paltry remuneration for the girls to soften the blow. There were scenes peppered at places with comedic moments by the three actors with audience enjoying thoroughly but wished it was longer. Without any interval and a duration of 1 hour 20 minutes, time just flew!

The cast and the crew of ‘Ouch’

Taufeeq Ahmed looked after the production and sound diligently, digital effects were created effectively by Varun Tiwari and lighting was done brilliantly by Tushar Bose. Jyotsna Jyoti who has previously directed ‘Andhi Daud’ assisted Jyotsna Sharma on this production.

All-in-all, this was a fun and an entertaining play, which successfully exposed dark truths behind what we perceive as a glamourous world.

”˜Ouch’ was directed by Jyotsna Sharma who has more than 15 years of experience pursuing professional theatre in India and has performed all over the world. Before relocating permanently to Sydney she was a popular voice artist for TVC’s and channels such as NatGeo, Fox Prime, UTV, HBO Movies and NDTV Good times. Jyotsna has also taught drama at The British School, at Musicology affiliated to Trinity London (Drama) and film acting at T series Stage works before she moved to Australia.

She is currently teaching Drama to adults and children at Natraj Academy Sydney.

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