HYDERABAD: As the crowd gathered at Lamakaan on Sunday evening, which was under the threat of a sudden downpour, the proceedings began. A renowned theatre group, known for its varied output in the drama field for many years, decided to hold a free-wheeling session of storytelling and book reading instead.
Little Theatre decided to regale its audience with this variety show that was opened with an English number by Anuj Gurwara, the famous Hyderabadi, known for his RJing skills.
The occasion coincided with the birthday of one of its founding members - Shankar Melkote, a renowned theatre and film actor- and this was the right moment for his granddaughter to read out a special poem she had composed in his honour. This, was followed by a collection of readings and enactments from both original and published works of different authors. Vithal Rajan, part of the Little Theatre, had the audience in splits. He recounted the experiences of a lady publisher whose rise is resented by her contemporaries. She however lands upon the apt manuscript - a syrupy, romantic one - to be published by her as the next big thing.
The 90-minute programme traversed genres like horror fiction, real life encounters, poems and renditions, a heartfelt tribute to the printed word as the organisers put it. Anuj Gurwara narrated a spooky tale of a scrabble game between a bored couple turning bizarre when the words coined started turning out real, including the near brush with death of the husband as the victorious wife watches his discomfort. The right kind of voice modulation and special emphasis on the turn of events by the presenter made this an enjoyable affair. Known names in the local social circuit like Chandana Chakrabarty and Ayesha came up with perky poems talking about old age and witty anecdotes respectively. A tribute to the founder by reading out from Omar Khayyam and passages from W B Yeats completed the literary twist to the proceedings. The story of a feisty grandma who beat up security guards at an American airport when they insisted they will frisk her and paid the price for it was the icing on the cake as the audience roared in appreciative laughter. The two ladies - Sarala and Navneeta - carried the narration with aplomb.