'The Tempest' with a Keralite touch

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: ‘The Tempest’, one among the classic plays of Shakespeare, with Indian music as background score and key roles to be donned by Keralite actors, will be rolled out soon. The

Published: 09th January 2012 11:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:11 PM   |  A+A-

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: ‘The Tempest’, one among the classic plays of Shakespeare, with Indian music as background score and key roles to be donned by Keralite actors, will be rolled out soon. The rehearsal of the drama, produced by Footsbarn Theaters, a renowned French theatre group, will start in the city on January 10.  Though the story thread and the characters will be the same as in the original play, adaptations will be made on the background score and screenplay of the drama.

 Footsbarn Travelling Theatres, a French drama group which has produced over 60 plays and toured across the length and breadth of the globe, will be performing in the state for the second time. The assistance will be provided by Abhinaya Drama School, whose five performers will join hands with the touring drama giants.

 Footsbarn’s maiden venture in the State dates back to 1994, when it teamed with a couple of artists from Abhinaya to bring out ‘Odyssey.’ ‘Odyssey’ was hailed as a monumental work with Indian elements, including music and characters, neatly incorporated into it.

 D Raghuthaman, the president of Abhinaya and a member for the upcoming play, said that the drama would act as a great booster of Indian culture in the West. ”The drama will have the same story thread and characters as in the original play. But since the group is here, we hope that Indian elements can be incorporated into the play. There is scope for Indian music as Chandran Vayyatumel will be at the helm of music direction. Now, as we have been selected to conduct the rehearsals in Kerala, chances  for syncing Indian elements with the drama  are high,” he said.

 Raghuthaman, along with K Kaladharan, Sree Latha, Shaji Karyat and music director Chandran Vayyatumel, will make the presence of Keralites felt in the drama. Raghuthaman, who played the role of ‘Odysseus’ in the play ‘Odyssey’, appeared upbeat about being a part of the new drama.

 “It’s altogether a new experience when working with them. The drama is being played in a tent which the team brings. They stay in one place and perform there for almost two weeks. We spend the night in caravans. So the experience is different from what we have felt here,” Raghuthaman said.

 Though the script and other details have not been confirmed, it is learnt that the first part of the drama will be finished by January 30. Since the play is set in a remote island, Kerala was selected as the location for conducting the rehearsals.

 In the ‘Odyssey’, Vanchipattu was glued to the main part of the drama and on some occasions the character spoke Malayalam instead of English. ”Drama is all about visual adaptation and presentation. The ‘Tempest’ will be multi-lingual. Quite contrary to  Indian drama, we don’t have a director. Nearly everyone improvises. This makes it compact. The final span of the drama will be decided after a couple of screenings. Then the audience too would have their say,” said Paddy Hayter, a senior actor in the team.

 Footsbarn will move to Portugal at the end of this month and will continue their rehearsals there. After that, they will proceed on a world tour.


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