Reflecting on the Renaissance Movement

This time around, women actors from ‘Pennakam’ will handle the female roles. 

Published: 09th November 2018 11:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th November 2018 12:56 PM   |  A+A-

A scene from ‘Adukkalayil Ninnu Arangathekku’  Express

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the midst of heated social debates over ritualistic traditions and social evils, the state capital is all set to have a glimpse of Kerala’s rich history through a series of reflections on the 20th century Renaissance Movement. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the anniversary celebrations here on Friday. 

On Saturday, the capital city will get a chance to view ‘Adukkalayil Ninnu Arangathekku’ (From the Kitchen to the Stage), the revolutionary play by V T Bhattathirippad that once set the stage for a social revolution in Kerala. 

To be performed as part of the 82nd-anniversary celebrations of the historic Temple Entry Proclamation, the play will be staged at VJT Hall on Saturday at 6 pm. This time, the performance is being brought to the viewers by the Karunagappally Taluk Library Council in Kollam and Kudumbasree. 

The play first made its debut amidst superstitions and social evils that prevailed in the Kerala society about nine decades ago. Written by V T Bhattathirippad, one of the best known social reformers in Kerala, it had triggered a volcanic reaction to the injustices then prevalent in society.  Written in the 1920s, V T questioned several existing social customs through this play, including certain practices that were adhered to by the Brahmin community in those times. As a herald of the emerging women power in a society on the verge of a rehaul, the play touches upon quite a few social evils including child marriage and societal insistence that only the eldest in a Brahmin family can indulge in legitimate ‘Veli’ . In 1929, the play was staged by the Yoga Kshema Sabha and this later led to major reforms in the Kerala society. 

Madhavan who goes to Madras for higher education and 13-year old Devaki are the central characters. When the play was first staged, males portrayed the female characters.  This time around, women actors from ‘Pennakam’ will handle the female roles. 

Directed by Mohan Mainagappally, the play is scripted by VP Jayaprakash Menon and Vadakkumthala Sreekumar. Kadathoor Mansoor, Kottiyam Jayasagar, Sainulabdeen, Vadakkumthala Sreekumar, Chandran Pillai, Shymi, Roopesh, Praveen Manakkal, Anil Palavila, Ananthan Pillai, Bindu Menon, Asha Syam, Meenakshi Pillai and Sreerekha will play various characters in the 1.25 hour play. 

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