A drama that juxtaposes fame with wit and adventure

Aswin Mushran and Aditya Rawal (left) during the rehearsal of the play As Bees in Honey Drowned. , Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

After a successful performance in Mumbai, ‘Like bees drown in honey’ Douglas Carter Beane’s witty and adventurous genre adaptation is all set to grace the stage in Delhi for the first time this weekend. Presented by Aadhyam Theatre, the contemporary tale weaves a captivating narrative around a young, budding novelist Prateek Gandhi, played by Aditya Rawal, who travels from Ahmedabad to Mumbai after the stupendous success of his debut novel.

In the colorful city of Mumbai, Prateek’s world collides with Alexa Davitre, a dynamic music producer brought to life by Shikha Talsania. Alexa is a smart, intelligent and woman of remarkable success. She hires Prateek to write her life story in the form of a screenplay. Together, they embark on an exciting journey through the dazzling world of success.

The play’s title reflects how the pursuit of success brings with it potential danger. Director Anahita Uberoi says the themes of drama have acquired new relevance in the age of social media, where actors have direct access to the audience. They have the power to portray themselves the way they want people to perceive them. “I wanted to direct it a decade ago. But then it did not seem as relevant as it is today”, she says.

Anahita explains how she has focused on contemporary relevance by highlighting parallel stories from real-life Indian novelists such as Amish Tripathi, who have achieved phenomenal global success over the last decade. Akarsh Khurana’s adaptation of the play to the Indian context makes it easily relatable.

Tavish Bhattacharya (left), Shikha Talsania (c) and Aditya Rawal during the rehearsal of the play As Bees in Honey Drown.

Tavish Bhattacharya (left), Shikha Talsania (c) and Aditya Rawal during the rehearsal of the play As Bees in Honey Drown. , Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The cast includes six talented actors, two of whom play solo roles and the rest play multiple characters from the entertainment industry in Mumbai. “The main challenge was how to make the characters physically different. Mind you they are different people but how can we show that to the audience. Ashwin Mushran, who plays three different roles, says, “The change in body language and physicality worked to a great extent.”

The play evokes the rhythm and vibrancy of the city of Bombay with its colorful characters and bustling energy. Given the play’s fast pace and diverse locations, set design presented another exciting challenge. However, the designers brilliantly created a versatile playground for the actors to play on.

“It is a light drama so the rehearsals were always fun. We were always experimenting with new things and fell off our seats laughing”, says Aditya, who is returning to theater after six years.

Anahita defines like bees drown in honey As an actor’s play. She says, “It encourages diverse interpretations and empowers the actors to pour their energy into their roles.” The artistic freedom given by Anahita allows the actors to shine and add a unique personal touch to the play.

Kamani Auditorium, on Copernicus Marg; July 22 at 7.30 PM and July 23 at 4 PM and 7.30 PM