Chinese Folklore Explored on Stage
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Not many are aware that the day marking the significance of theatre or the World Theatre Day was observed recently, on March 27. Organisations and groups involved with theatre observe the day with seminars, theatrical sessions and dramas. Programmes were held in the capital city as well by the Kanal Samskarika Vedi and other theatre groups.
The day’s major events included a satircal drama performed by the Rangaprabath Theatre Group at Manaveeyam eedhi by Professor G Sankarapillai, on the relationship between pandava prince Bheema and his son Khadolkhaja.
While many of them marked the day with discussions and performing established skits, a unique children’s drama with a message was performed by the young kids of the Government LPS Pangode on the premises. For the school which also celebrated its anniversary on the day, it was literally made more colourful with the performance.
The drama titled ‘Kathayile Karyam’ scripted and directed by school faculty Ambidas Karette, follows the story of a village in China. Inspired by an ancient ethnic folk tale, the story follows a group of kids, busy playing. Finding a moment to rest, they go to an old man who usually narrates stories for them. He narrates the tale happening in China, and the students wearing chinese attire transport you to the events happening in a village there. The scene changes to a young villager who goes to work in his fields to support his sick mother. Encountering a highly venomous snake shivering in cold, he stops dead in his tracks. While the snake begs him to place it in a warm blanket, promising not to bite him. Relenting, the young man places the snake in a comfortable blanket, and as he prepares to lay it down, the snake bites the man. Telling the man that he should not have believed what it said nevertheless, the creature leaves the young man who is in pain. Later, the scene returns to the group of kids huddled around the old man, having understood the message.
Says Ambidas, who directed the play, “Inspite of knowing what should be or shouldn’t be done, people sometimes do not follow the same. This is the context explored through the play.”
The play was first staged in Helsinki, and then Vienna at the 9th World Congress of the ITI in June 1961 that President Arvi Kivimaa proposed on behalf of the Finnish Centre of the International Theatre Institute that a World Theatre Day be instituted. Eversince, the day has been celebrated worldwide on March 27.