We all have enjoyed watching the Munnabhai series where the popular character Munna or Murli Prasad Sharma takes up different characters to teach some basic life skills to others. In the first part Munnabhai MBBS, the protagonist, played by Sanjay Dutt, joins a medical school to become a doctor, but in return he teaches the value of love, compassion and care to others. In the second part, Lage Raho Munnabhai, the local goon Munna turns into a fake professor to win his lady love, but in return teaches some great life lessons or ‘Gandhigiri’ to others.
Following on the same lines, a Bengaluru-based theatre group named Team ‘a’ Productions has recreated the character of Munnabhai as a budding cricketer along with his sidekick Circuit on stage.
The play named ‘Munnabhai Cricketer’ was a big hit as Munnabhai as a budding player recreates his own version of the gentleman’s game to suit his needs.
The play opens with Munnabhai watching a T20I match between India and Bangladesh. Seeing India struggling to get past The Tigers, Munnabhai decides to take up cricket as his career to bring glory to the nation.
Circuit calls up Silly Bowden, a caricature on popular umpire Billy Bowden, and Prachin Rendulkar, another spoof on Indian cricketing god Sachin Tendulkar, to teach the basics of cricket to Munnbhai.
Does Munnabhai learns cricket and plays for India? What rules he sets up to form his own version of cricket? The rest of the story answers these questions.
But why Munnabhai Cricketer? Akmal Basha, the founder of Team ‘a’ Productions and who played Circuit in the play, said, “Cricket has its own interpretations and can be extremely funny due to the modifications made in the rules and regulations while playing the sport in gully or small spaces. Hence, we created this play to transport the audience back to their young days when they played cricket with their friends and cousins during childhood.”
So, how was audience’s reactions to the play, Munnabhai Cricketer? “We received amazing feedback for the play. We plan to do multiple shows of it,” Akmal said.