Home > Drama, Theater > Thodarum in THE HINDU – Horror in Special Effects Mode

Thodarum in THE HINDU – Horror in Special Effects Mode

Horror in special effects mode

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

Technical wizardry in Tamil theatre has come to stay as Thodarum… shows.

DISCUSSION AMIDST CAMARADERIE: Vivekshankar at extreme left.

Prayatna, the drama troupe that was started as a tribute to actor V. Gopalakrishnan, who lived and breathed theatre till the end, completes 10 years of service to the Tamil stage and is entering its second decade. To mark the occasion the troupe inaugurated its new play, ‘Thodarum…’ written and directed by K. Vivekshankar, last evening (February 23, 7.00 pm), at Narada Gana Sabha Main Hall, Alwarpet, under the auspices of Karthik Fine Arts. ‘Thodarum …’ is being staged consecutively on Feb. 24 (today) for Narada Gana Sabha, Feb. 25 for Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, and on Feb. 26 for Brahma Gana Sabha, at the same venue, at 7.00 p.m. on all the days. None of the shows are ticketed. Hence theatre enthusiasts can download invites from the website or call 98410 44517; 98414 33965.

REHEARSAL TIME: The Thodarum group

“Gopalakrishnan was my mentor,” K. Vivekshankar, the writer and director of ‘Thodarum …’ begins. “And invariably our new ventures open on April 29, the day that marks Gopi’s anniversary. This is the first time that certain constraints have made us deviate from the norm.” So beginning with ‘Uravugal Dot Com,’ in 2001, Prayatna’s inaugural plays have always been on this date.

“A beginning, not an end,” goes the intriguing tagline of ‘Thodarum,’ and Vivek promises a visually captivating theatrical experience for viewers. “We are pooling in the best resources both on the artistic and technical fronts to ensure complete satisfaction for theatre lovers,” he says.

A stage play in the horror genre is a rarity. “Yes, for nearly 30 years now, it’s not been an oft-traversed path. I wanted everything about the landmark play to be new. Hence I’ve opted for horror this time. The setting of the story is Kinnakorai, a hill station. So special effects with snowy forests, rocks and mountains will be accommodated on a 30 feet stage,” smiles Vivekshankar. The visual treat of ‘Thodarum …’ should be something to look forward to. And it comes with surround sound effect – features you don’t normally find in stage plays. “It isn’t gory horror that you’d get to watch. It’s astute all the way, and fare that young audience should find engaging,” Vivekshankar emphasises.

IN SERIOUS MODE: Vivekshankar briefs Afsar.

Vivekshankar’s yen for innovation came to the fore earlier in Shraddha’s maiden attempt, ‘Dhanushkodi,’ where the story happened
amidst thunder and rain that poured incessantly on stage! “I’m always a part of Shraddha’s attempts too,” he laughs, though he has staged half dozen plays with his Prayatna, including ‘Narendra.’ Interestingly, Shraddha activists such as Shivaji Chaturvedi, T.D. Sundarrajan and Prema Sadasivam and Girish are also part of the cast of ‘Thodarum …’

Vivek has envisaged ‘Thodarum …’ as a play that continues without a break. The purpose? “The duration is just an hour and 40 minutes. And if we allot time for intermission, it could pull the audience out of the mood of eeriness that has been set. We can’t afford it,” contends Vivekshankar.

The highlight of the four-day event will be the live webcast of the play on February 25, under the auspices of Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, between 7.00 pm and 8.45 pm., for the benefit of Tamil theatre lovers throughout the world. “Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti, president of the sabha will inaugurate it. As far as my knowledge goes, this is a first-of-its-kind endeavour in Tamil theatre,” he signs off.

  1. Prof T.K.Srinivasan
    February 25, 2012 at 1:46 am

    Dear Vivek Shankar
    Bravo! Saw the play, last night (25th Night).Prior to the beginning, met you also! The ‘Horror Genre”–an absolute non-existing innovation in Tamil Plays now, is indeed handled brilliantly– with thespecial effects of snowy forests, rocks and mountains, in the background very well pictured throughout the play! Kudos to you & your Tech-Support! The dramatist-personae–have all done very well, with Afsar doing the ‘Chief Role’ extremely well.Girish was indeed a good foil! TDS, as always, did a great job,never forgetting the ‘limpwalk’, whenever he walked on the stage! His grand-daughter, done by that little girl, was a nice ‘cameo’.Glad you have maintained the high standards set by you in “Shencottah” & “Narendra” & Afsar continues his Stage brilliance of ” Narendra”, in two entirely different roles! “May your Tribe” grow ‘multifold’ for the sake of Tamil Drama!!

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