BENGALURU: After bringing to life Kuvempu’s Malegalalli Madumagalu in a stunning nine-hour play that completed 100 successful shows, veteran theatre person C Basavalingaiah is planning to take audiences 800 years into the past to engage with Karnataka’s Vachana movement.“This time round is more challenging. We have to take the audience back 800 years. The play is about Saint Basavanna. Its Vachana Kalyana play with 150 actors.
We will also set up a stage for an Anubhava Mantapa (the first Parliament set up by Basavanna in the 12th century). This time, apart from Kalagraama, we are planning to stage the play at Basavakalyana in Bidar district where the Anubhava Mantapa was set up by Basavanna. There was a demand to conduct such experiments in North Karnataka. We are planning to take the play there,” he said. The show is tentatively scheduled for March or April.
It was in 2010 that director
C Basavalingiah turned Jnanapeeth awardee Kuvempu’s novel Malegalalli Madhumagalu into a nine-hour long play performed by a cast of nearly 100 actors night and day. The novel was adapted into a play by poet KY Narayanaswamy. On Friday, the play completed its 100th show at Bengaluru’s Kalagrama.
Four stages have been set up at Kalagraama. “I went to Kuppalli (Kuvempu’s birth place) to learn the practices and traditions (of the time) along with the dressing sense 200 years back. We had to take audience literally to Malnad,’’ he said. While the government has given a grant of Rs 30 lakh, the show manages to collect around Rs 20 lakh through ticket sales. “We need this to take care of the 100 artists and also for the settings.” The play will be in town until February 29.