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Laughs in Chaguanas

Published: 
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Priya (Carol Singh), left, shows Kiran (Vaneera Vkar) a Facebook post her father made about his new lover.

Parosin The Lady Next Door, a theatrical production by journalist Seeta Persad, was a good dose of the humorous reality that exists in T&T’s contemporary local Indian communities. 

The play was staged on October 1 at Gaston Courts, Chaguanas, and featured the talents of actors from the Princess Town Theatre Workshop (PTTW)—including Balraj Harry, Seles Bhola, Varama Maharaj, Carol Singh, Rennie Lallan, Vaneera Vkar, Nirmala Maharaj, Franklyn Harry, Stacy Jagessar and Persad. 

This year the PTTW scored high in the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition, with Bhola winning the title for Best Actress.

Parosin deals with the sensitive topic of an older woman seeking to find the ideal partner after a failed marriage. 

Persad explained: “I wanted to write a play that carries comedy and suspense and this topic is one that could have explored all this and more.” 

She added that very often, when a couple separates, the husband moves on and finds a companion much faster than his estranged mate, who has to deal with “a lot of public speculation when a marriage fails.” 

Persad said as a result, many women come under heavy scrutiny for minor things that may occur in their personal or professional life. 

In a nutshell, Parosin The Lady Next Door, focuses on Sundarie, played by Persad, who is a divorced rich woman whose husband has gone on to find a young lover and posts his many conquests on Facebook. 

Sundarie is always in conflict with Monty, her brother (played by Rennie Lallan) over land and his chronic gambling habit, the latter causing much stress to his wife Kiran (played by Vaneera Vkar). Monty’s plot is to rip off his sister to fuel his gambling career. 

One of his plans includes a possible romance between Sundarie and Hari (played by Varma Maharaj). Hari’s erratic daughter Shelia (played by Seles Bhola) also has plans to get her father and Sundarie married so she can clean out the house. Priya, Sundarie’s daughter (played by Carol Singh) wants her mother to simply “get a man” and move on with her life. 

On the other hand, Sundarie isn’t looking for romance but is content with watching old Bollywood movies and keeping close to her religious devotion, while at the same time making money from her business. As fate would have it, Hari’s and Sundarie’s paths cross and the duo finds love amidst the cesspool of confusion. 

The acting in Parosin The Lady Next Door is excellently executed, especially the roles played by Persad, Varma Maharaj and Lallan, who bring to life the expressions and experiences in such circumstances. Bhola played the role of a mentally deranged child, however her acting was a tiny bit overcooked. Vkar also gave an outstanding performance of Kiran, the wife of Monty. Her expression and dialogue blended well into the script as she dealt with the woes of a husband addicted to gambling. 

A pre-show that featured local vocalists preceded the staging of Parosin The Lady Next Door. Giving the evening’s feature address to a packed venue was Chaguanas Mayor Gopaul Boodhan. He expressed his interest in having the play repeated in the Borough before year’s end. 

Persad said the show would be staged during the second week of November at the Naparima Bowl, San Fernando.

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