Charades is a well-scripted 'Game of Phones’ that reveals the truth behind the masquerade

Written by Swagata Naik and Saloni Khanna, Charades is an appreciate-worthy attempt that reflects everyday ordinary lives where we enact two characters striving to live both to the best. But do we? Think!


Cast: Swagata Naik, Saloni Khanna, Kashyap Shangari, Gaurav Sharma, Sankalp Joshi, Priyanka Arya, and Ankit Narang

Take a look around and you will come across many people who succumb to stress and tension which arise in a relationship due to work, peer pressure or mere lack of emotional satisfaction. On the other hand, blame technology for being so addictive, that one tends to connect with others for personal benefits, eventually developing another secretive persona, thereby looking for emotional dependency out there. Connecting these two subjects mirroring the problems of the bitter-sweet world we live in, is Swagata Naik’s Charades.

The set-up is a plush house closer to the beach. The sound of waves hitting the shore is the first thing you hear as the lights go on. The lounge is set for ready for the house party. Happiness and laughter are the two emotions on the agenda, one is expected to bring, but tension makes its way. The doorbell rings. The first pair guests arrive, slowly followed by others who bring not one but two personas along with a bag full of surprises. 

Charades is one of the most popular games played during a gathering, but if you look closely, it is something we play on a daily basis. Do we all have just one persona that we portray? Not at all. But with many personalities come many sides of our lives, hopes and realities which bother the other!

Written by Swagata Naik and Saloni Khanna, Charades is an appreciate-worthy attempt that reflects everyday ordinary lives. The characters are scripted well – they are different from each other, but share the qualities of being young, energetic, ambitious and a lot more. They are grey, who balance the white and the black well.

The evening starts off on a slow note leaving me with a doubt if the play would make me think about my own self, and just as I’m starting to doubt, it all makes sense. Talking about the essence of Charades, the story becomes interesting once the game of phones begins, where situations arise, bringing forth the hidden personalities. Every character gets a spotlight, where the truth and the lies hit hard with the well incorporated individual monologues reflecting many of our lives today. It is these lines that add a difference and bring a lot of value to the play.

The characters attempt to lighten the mood by making fun of each other and they have performed fairly well, but Abhinav (Sankalp Joshi) delivers the best. He is effortless on the stage and his monologue is what I enjoyed personally, not because of the choice of words, but also keeping his act in consideration. His nuances and expressions used during the narration are well thought. Naina (Swagata Naik) supports him well as his wife. They deliver their dialogues with ease, while the others get there eventually, and this is largely due to the quality of dialogues.

This said, the script, in the beginning, strives to comfort both the cast and the audience, but takes its own time. The set becomes intense when situations arise and only once the focus shifts on individuals and their reality. Charades ends where it started.

Verdict: Go for it(for you may get the clue for your game of life or a hint to speak the truth to the ones you love)

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