‘The Island’ at Theatre Festival today - The New Indian Express

‘The Island’ at Theatre Festival today

Published: 30th October 2012 12:46 PM

Last Updated: 30th October 2012 12:46 PM

The Malayalam adaptation of ‘The Island’, a play written by South African writer Athol Fugard, will be staged as part of the Abhinaya Theatre Festival at the Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan on October 30. The first independent venture of director Syam Reji, a post-graduate student of theatre from Kaladi Adi Sankaracharya Sanskrit University, the play had garnered kudos from critics and viewers alike.

The play, set in a prison on an island, glimpses into the lives of two political prisoners, who are cell-mates. They go through the mind-numbing and seemingly endless routine working at the quarry, being tortured by the warden and prison life in general. The entire play is enacted by these two characters- the slightly sensitive and imaginative John and the more pragmatic Winston.

To break the monotony of their oppressed prison-life, they decide to stage Sophocle’s play Antigone. Antigone, the protagonist, defies the laws of the state to bury her brother Polyneices and is sentenced to death by her uncle Creon, the new ruler of Thebes, for this crime. During this time, John learns that his sentence has been reduced and he would be a free man in three months, which puts their deep friendship to test.

John is played by Saranjith N K and the director himself dons the role of Winston.

The play has been translated into Malayalam by Gopan Chidambaram, teacher at the Sankaracharya university. ‘The Island’ will be staged at 6.30 pm.

The festival is organised in connection with ‘Ajayan Anusmaranam’, the annual memorial of Abhinaya Theatre Research Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, in memory of Ajayan, co-founder of Abhinaya. ‘True West’, an English production based on American playwright Sam Shepherd’s play of the same name, will be staged in association with Trivi Arts on October 31. The play is directed by Prakash Aswini and the cast includes Abraham K T, Micheal Joseph and Anuradha.

The play-writing workshop, organised on the sidelines of the festival, was inaugurated at the Abhinaya Theatre Village, Venkode, by author and scriptwriter Unni R on Monday.

Director, playwright and academician P Balachandran, faculty of Dept of Theatre, Kalady Sree Sankara University of Sanskrit  Gopan Chidambaram and playwright Jayapraksh Kuloor will lead the sessions at the workshop. The Festival will conclude on October 31.

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