THRISSUR: After a brief lull, ‘Kalanilayam’, the legendary drama troupe that has left indelible memories in the minds of theatre aficionados in the state through its landmark plays, is all set for a comeback in its golden jubilee year. The troupe’s new play ‘Hidimbi’, drawn from Mahabharata, will be staged in the first week of October here.
But this time, the coming back is without its mentor, actor Jagathy Sreekumar, who is recuperating from a near-fatal accident that occurred around two years ago. Kalanilayam Ananthapadmanabhan, who joined hands with Jagathy in 2003, to revive the troupe set up by his father Kalanilayam Krishnan Nair along with Jagathy N K Achary, father of Jagathy Sreekumar, in 1963, feels it is very disappointing to start the works without Jagathy who was actively engaged with the troupe before the accident.
“Even in the midst of busy film schedules, he had found time to attend the rehearsals to give instructions to new actors, whom we have selected after rigorous auditions,” Ananthapadmanabhan said. Though he is bedridden, his blessings are always with us which is the inspiration for our new venture, he said.
Though its concept of a permanent venue with over 150 artists and technical experts and background settings worth lakhs of rupees to stage a play for months was well received by theatre lovers, this time Kalanilayam is planning to perform at the nearest locations with its advanced technical paraphernalia.
“We are all set to stage plays at venues and halls that fit for our plays, despite the fact that there is dearth of classy venues in major towns with proper acoustics and infrastructure.
However, the plays will be staged with the help of advanced sound and stage setting technologies. The traditional background setting on the stage will be replaced with studio made high-tech settings, laced with special effects and digital sound with the help of computers and projector. This will give a feeling similar to that of watching a Hollywood film,” he said.
“The overwhelming response to our plays is a testimony that theatre has not made an exit in spite of unending woes and the presence of films and television. This time, the troupe is staging new plays after grooming a new set of young actors and theatre personalities to attract more youths into the field of theatre, he said.
Girish P C Palam, who penned the script and directed ‘Hidimbi’, said the play is a tale of womanhood told by intertwining history and the present.
“Be it in history or now, women are often marginalised and dishonoured. The play draws a parallel between the sorrow and solitude of a woman demon and the plights of the women of our times. The play will give the audience a real-time experience of a war through dynamics of new technology,” he said.