Drama Festival at Tiruchi
Syed Muthahar Saqaf
A scene from the Tamil play, ‘Bharati Pennae.’
A series of Tamil plays were staged during the week-long festival, held at R.R. Sabha, Tiruchi.
The week-long annual drama festival, organised jointly by the South Zone Cultural Centre, Thanjavur and the Tiruchi District Nataka Nadigargal Sangam, was held at the FGN hall of the Rasika Ranjana Sabha, Tiruchi, from July 25 – 31. Thirteen dramas of various social themes were staged on the occasion.
The festival commenced with Sri Vani Nataka Mandram’s play ‘Anthi Mazhai.’ This is the story of a peasant, his alcoholic son and visually challenged daughter and how a thief, who barges into their home, gets reformed once he realises the condition of the poverty-stricken family of the peasant.
The thief swears to himself to take care of the family and so gets employed. With his earnings he helps the visually challenged girl regain her sight after a surgery and later marries her. Pasu Dhanapal had penned the dialogue for the play, directed by Adhi Sridhar.
The might of a woman
The Karai Kalaikovil Nataka Mandram presented ‘Bharathi Pennae’ on the second day. It pivoted on the trials and tribulations of a daring woman, who was repeatedly humiliated and harassed by her husband, in the company of another woman.
Unable to tolerate the repeated humiliation,she decides to live separately. The ensuing incidents force her to kill her husband eventually landing her in prison, free from the clutches of her husband. S.S. Haja Mohideen was in charge of story, dialogue and direction.
For gullible aspirants
The Tamil Panpattu Kalaignargal Sangam, Vedaranyam, presented the drama ‘Vidiyalin Vasalgal.’ Poet Mani Nadamadhavan was in charge of the story and dialogue and S. Sahadevan had directed the play, which is about a youth who aspires to reach greater heights by seeking a foreign job, only to get duped by a greedy agent and lands in a jail in Malaysia. After various struggles, he returns to his country, understanding the importance and the value of his motherland.
‘Pothigaimalai Thendral,’ presented by Courtallam Tamizhannai Kalai Mandram and director A.P.S. Manimaran, was a historical play. This is the story of two brothers. When the elder brother rules the state, the younger brother, in association with one of the ministers, demands his share in power. The elder brother hands over the kingdom to his brother and leaves the country. The greedy minister instigates the younger brother, following which he announces a reward of 1,000 gold coins for the one who murders his brother in exile. On learning about this, the elder brother requests a poor poet to murder him and get the gold coins. The poet, on the other hand informs this to the younger brother who realises the good deeds of his brother, and apologises to him for his behaviour.
Another play, ‘Manam Ennum Thoni’ was presented by Tiruchi Rose Creations. It was about the parents who accord undue importance to their daughter. The girl spends at her will and marries a youth of her choice. Later she comes to learn about the uncaring attitude of her husband, who tries to marry her sister too. How she manages to lead a life away from him without much difficulty formed the rest of the story. T. Sambanthapandian was in charge of story, dialogue and screen play.
The Tiruchi Annai Stage Creations presented the drama ‘Sooriya Darisanam’ and Tiruchi R.R. was in charge of story, dialogue and direction. The story revolves round the protagonist, Uma, who is a fatherless girl. Rajesh, her college mate, falls for her but Uma does not entertain him. Murali, a visually challenged, always helps Uma especially when she is in distress and they both become very good friends. This enrages Rajesh who makes a vicious plan. The drama further unfolded whether Rajesh succeed in his attempt and how Uma handled the situation.
‘Yaar’ directed by M. Arumainathan was a crime story. The play commenced with the murder of a woman. A photographer who manages to capture a crime in his camera, rushes to the police station. Enroute, due to heavy downpour, he takes refuge in the house of a local landlord. When the photographer discusses with the landlord about the murder, the latter hatches a plot and gets the film roll. He tries to frame the local school teacher in the murder. But she fights back and proves who the actual murder is.
The ‘Ozhukkam Vizhuppam Taralan’ drama presented by Chennai Thozhargal Kalaikoodam was based on a social issue. It depicts how the incidents that take place at home affects the future of the youngsters. The parents use the young boy as a means to escape from each other after committing minor mistakes. This has a telling impact on the young mind. Their indifferent behaviour affects the future of the young boy. The parents realise their mistakes after a long time. V. Marudamuthu had penned the story and dialogue and S. Ravi was the director.
‘Thanthai Thai Paen’ presented by Chennai BSNL Nanbargal Kalaikuzhu and directed by Telephone Raj; ‘Pudiya Vidiyal’ presented by Navarasam Narpani Kala Mandram and directed by C. Kumarasamy; ‘Virucham’ by Kovai Kadiravan Nataka Kuzha and directed by R. Thiagarajan; ‘Solvatharku Ondrumillai’ presented by Tiruchi Golden Brothers and directed J. Julian were the other dramas staged during the drama festival.
Noted film director, M. Tirumurugan honoured the artists, directors and music directors, non-professional artists at the valediction of the festival. H. Rahmathulla Khan, assistant director of South Zone Cultural
Centre, Thanjavur, M.S. Mohamed Masthan, general secretary, Tiruchi District Drama Artists Association, spoke on the impact of drama on society.