CHENNAI: Veena Mani Do not confuse Ki Ra Kozhambu for the leafy curry most south Indians know and love. This one is a play that was staged by Perch at the South Indian People’s Theatre Festival on Friday. The play — a kuzhambu of folk stories by Ki Rajanarayanan — was lighthearted and playful. Organised by the Madras Kerala Samaj and Tamil Andy Progressive Writers and Artists Association, the street play follows the traditional format as interactive performance.
In fact, it was more of a musical than a play, with theatre artists Anand Sami, Ravindra Vijay and Maya Krishnan opening the show by asking the audience how stories should begin. The play talked of birds, the sky and everything around us. The gap between the sky and earth could be seen as a metaphor for the distance between man and simplicity. The cast sang to the current plight of man, who wants to build skyscrapers and helipads and what not.
The script also emphasised on how classical music is enjoyed by the average man, but only when it is presented as a fusion of genres. The characters on stage serenaded the audience with a love story between the sky and the earth, which birthed the sun and the moon. The Gods in heaven could no longer reach the men on the earth as the gap between the sky and the earth had widened — symbolic of man’s growing distance from spirituality.
Despite the seriousness of the themes, the tone was playful and peppered with humour. Each topic was narrated with such ease that the heaviness of the subjects did not bog down either the p l ay or the audience. The play is directed by Rajiv Krishna and costume design is by Kaveri Lalchand. The South Indian People’s Theatre Festival will stage plays in Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu at Madras Kerala Samaj, Kilpauk till October 6.