Reviewed by Paula Citron
Theatre Passe Muraille/Theatre Jones Roy
Written by Anusree Roy
Directed by Thomas Morgan Jones
Starring Anusree Roy and Byron Abalos
Theatre Passe Muraille
Nov.18 to Dec. 11
In Roshni, the newest play by Anusree Roy, the character portrayals and the acting are strong, but there are weaknesses in the script.
Roshni, which means hope in Hindi, was inspired by the child beggars at Calcutta’s Howrah train station. Roy observed them over time and was profoundly moved by these children who manage to keep hope alive in a life of grinding poverty.
Roy and Byron Abalos portray 12-year-olds Chumki and King Kumar, respectively. Chumki is a blind boot polisher, while King Kumar sells tea and peanuts.
Each child has a dream. Chumki wants corrective surgery to restore her vision. King Kumar yearns to go to Bombay and become a Bollywood star.
The problem with the script is repetition. There are only so many things the children can do at a train station. As well, their conversations are circular. Nonetheless, these talented actors are absolutely alive in their young characters.
Roshni continues at Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace until Dec. 11.