Review: Kanjoos – The Miser

Written for The Stage

193

What a perfect time to revive Moliere’s The Miser, a satirical comedy of manners inviting us to laugh at the money-pinching rich. Indeed the austere Harjinder – the eponymous ‘Kanjoos’ in this playful adaptation – could be David Cameron’s poster boy, he’s so hypocritically frugal.

Harjinder’s Gandhi-like existence is driving his children wild, just as his selfish grip is stopping them from marrying the people they love. Luckily friends and strangers are on hand with a fairytale solution.

Hardeep Singh Kohli wittily transposes the action from 17th-century France to modern-day Nagpur. His script drips with pop culture references while keeping Moliere’s joy of the ridiculous intact.

Co-writer and director Jatinder Verma’s vibrant production rattles along at a cheerfully bombastic pace. Each member of this charming ensemble sends up both classic and contemporary stereotypes with joyous abandon.

Sohini Alam, Danyal Dhondy and Hassan Mohyeddin’s music gives weight to the clowning on stage with some seriously classy accompaniment, incorporating traditional Indian melodies one moment and the theme from The Godfather the next.

As the nights draw in and the revelries of summer are forgotten, this warm and funny show is just the tonic to counter the cold pinch of austerity.

Runs until 13th October

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