Love N Stuff

TAPAC Theatre, Western Springs, Auckland

23/06/2016 - 03/07/2016

Production Details

Mansoor of Sandringham is at Auckland airport lounge – minutes away from boarding… to get away from his 35 year marriage for a new life in India. Wife Bindi smells a rat and tries to stop him, with hot bhajjiyas and some whacko friends. Will Mansoor stay or fly away? A hilarious drama unfolds as these characters weave their way through announcements, memories, overbearing airport staff, a local cop and an unruffled tourist guide to erotic Indian carvings.

Venue: TAPAC, 100 Motions Road, Western Springs, Auckland
June 23 to July 3
Tickets: Buy online at  
Or call 09-8450295 

For friends of Prayas who can’t make it to the show, you can help these characters come to life by bridging the funding gap and donating some Love N Stuff. A big thank you for your good wishes anyway. For more information and to make a contribution, please visit

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Fun, warm play has broad appeal

Review by Janet McAllister 27th Jun 2016

This baby-boomer romantic comedy could become the feel-good hit of the winter – its light touch on home, marriage and the immigrant experience aims to warm your heart.

Mansoor is at the airport, wanting to go back to India after 35 years away; his scientist wife Bindi wants to stay where they’ve made a life for themselves, loved by their cats and young neighbours. [More


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Review by Nathan Joe 26th Jun 2016

Despite sharing a similarly large cast, Prayas Theatre have done a 180 for their latest show, going from the epic novelistic scale of Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance to the more personal marital comedy of Tanika Gupta’s Love N Stuff. The play charts the tumultuous relationship between middle aged Indian couple Bindi (Sudeepta Vyas) and Mansoor (Mustaq Missouri). When Mansoor decides to return to India, Bindi follows in pursuit to the airport, hoping to change his mind, along with the help of family friends and convenient flight delays. Originally set in Stratford, the play’s references have also been seamlessly tweaked for Auckland audiences.

The premise plays out like an extended sitcom episode, with husband and wife trading insults and bickering, interrupted by numerous scenes with various extras. As comedic material, the relationship between the Bindi and Mansoor fails to draw the necessary laughs, veering towards histrionic rather than bitingly funny. But when the play takes a turn for the more melancholy and dramatic, Vyas and Missouri have a much better handle on the material, making their longings and resentments perfectly clear. [More


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Entertaining and sufficiently poignant

Review by Nik Smythe 25th Jun 2016

As the near-capacity audience convenes, the production’s five-piece band boogies away onstage, jamming out on contemporary reflexive jazz rhythms and melodies, as arranged by music director/sound designer Ritesh Vaghela.  Remaining on stage for the hour and a half duration, the accomplished combo will provide all music and sound effects throughout, at times wandering on stage to mingle with the action.

Playwright Tanika Gupta’s script examines cultural connections, clashes and divides with a playful and salient wit, however religion and political issues are largely only circumstantial factors in the romantic dramedy at the heart of the narrative. 

Recently retired Mansoor (Mustaq Missouri) is in the throes of a three-quarter life crisis, whereby he has decided to leave his Sandringham home and wife of 35 years Bindi (Sudeepta Vyas) and return to his childhood home in New Delhi. 

The relationship between Muslim Mansoor and Hindi Bindi is the crux of the story. As she entreats her estranged life partner to at least explain why he is leaving, he remains stubbornly silent.  In a handful of flashback scenes, Divya Hariharan and Rishabh Kapoor, as the younger, optimistic Bindi and Mansoor, both recall personal triumphs and struggles against parental adversity, their older counterparts looking on wistfully. Thus, having been introduced to them at about the most fractious point in their long union, the underlying loving bond between them is gradually revealed to us.  

Set mainly in the international airport terminal, their predicament plays out among an extended cast of cosmopolitan eccentrics, not least the protagonists’ own neighbours enlisted by Bindi to none-too-subtly employ any means available to change Mansoor’s mind.  Anisha Bhattacharya is Janice, an outspoken fitness fanatic who’s recently left her own husband.  Meanwhile, sensitive image-conscious Akbar (Prateek Vadgaonker) is in hiding from an unwanted fiancée of his own, so their mission to save their friends’ marriage seems somewhat ironic. 

Paurus Rege plays their younger neighbour Baggy, a would-be homeboy whose urbane hip-hop vernacular confuses his elders.  He represents the less secretive aspect of Mansoor’s discontent: that they never had children of their own.

Along with this core cast, a varied range of characters fleshes out the airport scenes and a couple of flashbacks.  Among these, notable highlights include Sneha Shetty’s more-than-meets-the-eye policewoman and Aman Bajaj’s long-suffering, terminally bored erotic sculpture tour guide.

Tim Booth’s original set design is a conceptual accomplishment in itself, incorporating over a dozen mismatching sofas with other minimal components.  A handful are airport furniture centre stage, a couple are actual living room couches in scenes set at home, while the majority line the walls standing vertically on their ends to create a sense of general clutter.  A rather ingenious highlight is the modified car prop, with attached bumper, steering wheel and inset hazard lights.

Some of the sub-plot threads are a tad hard to follow, as the focus can get a bit muddled on the expansive stage area.  Also, it’s a struggle to make out certain players’ dialogue at times, however director Sananda Chaterjee is successful overall in the ambitious quest to consolidate all the diverse personae and production elements into a mostly cohesive whole, resulting in an entertaining and sufficiently poignant comedy drama.


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