N N Pillai’s ‘Crossbelt’ to be Reenacted in City

The female lead character Ammu, a victim of a brutal rape, has numerous resemblances in our society. Unfortunately, the apathy of the society has worsened with the passage of time, says the director

Published: 05th February 2014 07:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th February 2014 07:41 AM   |  A+A-


‘Crossbelt’, maestro N N Pillai’s play that created ripples in the Kerala society in the 1960s with its outrageous theme, will be reenacted in the city on Friday. 

 Office-bearers of Nartaki, the city-based amateur theatre group which is staging the drama, said that the underlying message of the play was still relevant to the contemporary society which witnesses brutal attacks on womanhood.

 “The female lead character Ammu, a victim of a brutal rape, has numerous resemblances in our society. Unfortunately, the apathy of the society has worsened with the passage of time,” said director of the play S Sajanachandran.

 The director said he has taken the liberty to twist the climax to keep up the play with changing times. “The veteran playwright himself had encouraged directors for using their liberty to improve the play. Here, I’ve attempted to further tone up the call to society for shedding its inertia,” Sajanachandran said.

 ‘Crossbelt’, a play sans romance and dance, was an out-of-the-box play script written by

N N Pillai. It tells the story of Sekhara Panicker, a revolutionary who was paralysed in police atrocity and left alone by his movement.

The family is pushed into poverty and his wife ‘Pattalam Bhavani’ becomes mentally ill. To add to the family’s woes, Ammu, the teenaged daughter of the couple, kills a man who rapes her, and takes refuge in a house which happens to be the residence of an upright police officer named Rajasekharan Nair.

 The portion in the drama in which the victim and the police officer get involved in a heated debate reveals the extremity of the two main characters; a staunch follower of the system, and a hapless girl who lost confidence in it.

  “I believe the twist will be welcomed by connoisseurs as it reflects the current social realities,” Sajanachandran said.

 An official with the Airports Authority of India, Sajanachandran is associated with a couple of amateur theatre groups in the capital.

 Dr Shanawas will don the role of Sekhara Panicker, while advocate Mangalathara (Pattalam Bhavani), Arun Nair (Rajasekharan Nair) and Sreekala (Ammu) will play the other leading characters in the drama. Dr G Sajeesh, Santhosh G Nair, P Raj Anand, K Sudarsanan, advocate Ajitha V K Nair and Lizy Babu are the other actors in the two-hour-long drama.

  The opening and closing lyrics are penned by Vibhu Pirappancode and sung by Thenmala Ajayan. Rajeev has done the background score.

 P V Krishnan (poster sketch), Hazim (music execution), Pappanamcode Mani (lights) and Poojappura Sasi (make-up) are the other main crew members.

 Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi chairman Soorya Krishnamoorthy will inaugurate the play at Panchayat Association Hall near Kanakakkunnu Palace here at 6 pm. Admission is free.


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