Made in India at Tamasha Theatre online
Made in India delivers what’s written on the can – a play set entirely in India. Although not a unique setting, there is a unique issue at hand: childbirth and surrogacy, something not often openly discussed, especially nowadays.
This drama opens in a surrogate clinic in Gujarat, with the Brit Eva (Gina Isaac) looking to adopt in the country. Despite the refusal of Dr Gupta (Syreeta Kumar), Eva wants to choose her own surrogate, and, shockingly, meet them. It shines a light on how impersonal the procedure actually is. The surrogate is nothing more than a carrier, a word spouted as if the woman is just some worker bee, instead of a human being. Dr Gupta even describes the process as “renting”.
After a while, and a lot of monologues later, Eva finally meets the surrogate that she wants, Aditi (Ulrika Krishnamurti). Krishnamurti gets across the awkwardness that Aditi must feel in the situation. Her facial expressions accompanied by her refusal to look at the woman that is potentially buying her child are spot on. On the other hand, Kumar manages to bring comic relief through her role as a doctor – despite the serious subject matter.
Eva feels as alone as we do in the current situation. She reflects on using her dead husband’s sperm, having Aditi carry the baby, but is unsure whether she can carry out her role. But she soon realises that all of the characters play vital parts. There are only three yet Made In India does not get repetitive or stale. This is due to the incredible realism displayed by the actors. All protagonists are believable, and the audience almost feels awkward alongside them, like they are listening to other peoples’ real conversations, not just watching a play. The set is also used well, weaving Indian designs with a sterile clinic. Phone calls, music, dancing and news reports stitch together the scenes like the background set. Some are bleak, some are bright, but they all honestly capture the situation.
In other circumstances, Eva and Aditi would never cross paths, being total opposites, and not just in terms of social status. However, despite this, they must help each other. In fact, all three women must work together to help one another in the face of politics, poverty and the possible closure of the clinic.
Aditi’s English isn’t the only thing that grows throughout the play. Her pregnancy, the strength of the women and the unlikely friendship between them also thrive. This truly is a journey worth following while we can’t follow any journeys of our own outside in the real world.
Photo: Tamasha Theatre Company
Made in India is available to watch on YouTube from 16th June until 30th June 2020. For further information visit the theatre’s website here.
Watch Made in India here: