In terms of social service, RAGE Theatre Group (Bombay) has done its bit by staging Are There Tigers in the Congo? (a Spandan presentation, Birla Sabhagar, June 18). By today’s standards, Lone and George Blecher’s one-hour, one-act, two-character play is a relatively simple AIDS-education script, because its main concern seems to be dispelling popular misconceptions about AIDS while making spectators aware of the real dangers.

Theatrically, however, its appeal is limited. The situation of two writer-collaborators brainstorming to produce a comedy holds no surprises in itself. Besides, the body of the text merely involves each one in turn eliciting from the other his reactions if he were to learn he had contracted the disease. These uneven exchanges of dialogue—some gripping, some banal—often tax our suspension of disbelief. Once the Blechers have exhausted this basic idea, the play ends too, quite abruptly.

Therefore, in spite of Rahul da Cunha’s comments, one has to reverse his directorial assessment—the topicality comes first, the so-called “power of the play” a distant second. Given the lack of psychological depth in the Blechers’ work, Rajit Kapur proves a superior actor to Rahul Bose, whose unemotional visage appears a trifle too calculated. Between Fali Unwala’s set and lighting design, the latter is clearly the more aesthetic.

(From The Telegraph, 2 July 1993)