“Exploring Human Connections: ‘Friend Request’ Delights Hyderabad Audiences”


The contemporary Marathi theater scene is embracing current themes with open arms, a case in point being the captivating play ‘Friend Request.’ The narrative ingeniously weaves the essentiality of social media into its fabric, illustrating the profound effects of a simple virtual connection on the reality of four individuals. Penned expertly by Prasad Dani and brought to life through the directorial vision of Kumar Sohoni, the play boasts a solid 140-minute runtime. In its midst, Marathi cinema’s seasoned artist, Ajay Purkar, embodies the central character of Madhav Sahasrabudhe, presenting audiences with a deep dive into the life of this solitary, forty-something CEO.

Madhav’s existence, while professionally successful, is marred by personal isolation and the lingering regret of his divorce 15 years prior. A stark emotional palette is sketched with just two friends completing his social sphere, portrayed with finesse by Ashish Pawar and Atul Mahajan. The character’s poignant longing for reunion with his estranged daughter outlines the central plot, ultimately converging in a whirlwind of emotion as a woman, played by the talented Priyanka Tendolkar, makes an abrupt and dramatic entrance into his home, altering the course of events.

What follows is an emotionally charged performance that commands attention, particularly in the second act, where beneath layers of surprises, the characters’ true natures and beliefs surface. Friendship, trust, and the intricate web of interpersonal relationships are methodically explored against the modern backdrop of social networking. Through dialogues and interactions, the play addresses the rising tide of divorces and subsequent familial strife without imposing judgment, instead offering an introspective look at maneuvering through life’s complexities.

Since its premiere in Mumbai on January 25, ‘Friend Request’ has resonated with audiences across cities, including Nasik, Ahmedabad, and Pune, marking its trajectory with 23 successful showcase events. The name ‘Friend Request’ might seem a tool to captivate the youth initially, but it stands to symbolize a daily digital conundrum—whom to accept into our virtual circles, as social media permeates every sphere, inviting kin, acquaintances, and strangers alike into our personal lives.

Ajay Purkar, while an established presence with 15 commercial plays to his name, takes on the dual role of actor and producer for the first time. He brings with him a wave of anticipation, having garnered appreciation for his exceptional portrayal of the villainous Rayudu in his debut Telugu film ‘Skanda.’ His approach to work echoes discipline and precision, elements he found harmoniously present during the film’s production. Purkar is now set to enchant the sizeable Marathi community in Hyderabad, eager for a triumphant show.

The multifaceted production team is already preparing for subsequent stagings back in Mumbai after their visit to Hyderabad, with aspirations of surpassing a milestone of 500 performances within the next two years. Such an achievement would stand as a testament to the play’s universal appeal and enduring relevance.

The excitement is palpable as ‘Friend Request’ prepares to grace the stage at Ravindra Bharathi on April 13, with showtimes beginning at 6:30 pm. Accommodating diverse budgets, ticket prices are thoughtfully tiered at ₹200, ₹400, ₹600, ₹800, ₹1000, and ₹1200, with bookings available on bookmyshow.com. This theatrical revelation invites viewers of all generations to ponder on the essence of connections in the social media age, and how these can reflect, distort, or accentuate reality.

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