Archive for the ‘Theatre/Drama’ Category

Chennai Music Season

The Music Season (Margazhi Mahotsavam) have begun and the schedules can be found here.

Via – Ram’s abode.

Once Upon a Time in Arabia

If you think IT and software professionals think nothing but computers all through the day; here is some “play” for thought, well for those of you who don’t know – presenting Rebelz, a Chennai based English theatre group started by IT professionals was out with their fourth production last Saturday and Sunday(26/27th) at Sivagami Pethachi Auditorium in Mylapore.

The show was not the usual kinds, which we see in Chennai theatre, it was a dated spoof on Arabia, a la Alibaba, Aladdin types.

There is trouble in the ancient Arabian kingdom of Petra, where the main characters of the play, Ali (Ashwin) is the handsome peasant deeply in love with the voice of a song he heard in the palace and his brother Sinkbath (Bharath) the bumbling sailor who owns a ’ship of the desert’, a camel named Humpy and not a ship!

Ali thinks he is in love with Ayesha (Mahima) and tries to win her heart with the help of his brother. They have a friend called Jassi (Shritha), who is Ayesha’s younger sister – is disguised as a sardarji to sneak out of the palace and deeply in love with Ali and tries to help Ali in whichever way possible.

In this play Parthasarathy plays the evil Vizier. Dressed in a combination of red and black, his thunderous laugh is more a bumbling comedy-villian who tries in all possible ways to woo Prince Ayesha and take over the kingdom of Petra.

Sandeep as the Vizier’s bodyguard stole the show, whose ‘Hail the Vizier’ dialogues had people falling off their seats. His one-liners were really very witty

Sandeep as the Guard

The Director Harish, performed a cameo which was a totally unexpected character, school boy genie, right after the interval. Imagine a genie dressed in school boy clothes, well all is fair in spoof’s and it was really a funny performance by him.

The play had a happy ending when the pairs find their match and all’s well ends well. Music was scored by SAE School, was a nice hear. Arabian backdrops, costumes and music makes a little complex play compared to their other ones. The show had it all, from skeleton dance to bumbling guard, arabian dance and lots more.

Err Im not advertising for them, even though I happen to be the PR of the group, but if you want to join Rebelz, check us at

A scene from OUTA

Blasphemy – a reading.

Muni drinks Corona

If you can overlook the image of a Muni (demigod/warrior guardian/whatever) guzzling beer, you might want to come to Koyembedu tomorrow.
But first, a little background.

So, there’s a little thing Sharanya Manivannan and I are doing – trying to kick-start a poetry/performance/literature indie culture in Chennai.
And that’s why you should be in Koyembedu tomorrow – it is the fourth event – a poetry reading on the theme of blasphemy. RSVP here, or on my/Sharanya’s blog or to our e-mail addresses.

The second coming – a poetry+coffee event


Yes, I realise I haven’t kept up my end of the bargain and haven’t answered questions raised in this post. My defence: time. Or rather, the infinitesimally small amounts of it that I end up having. I intend to catch up with that this weekend.

So, anyway, to the point of the post.

Sharanya and Meena (and I) are organising a poetry event this Friday at Mocha. An open-mic session – which means we’ll keep the mic by the door. Errm…it means everyone’s invited and everyone can read out. Friday, 21st March is not only Good Friday, it’s the World Poetry Day. So the idea is to kill two birds with one metaphor. The idea is also to bring poetry to Madras city, and do it closer to the city than Thalankuppam was.

Head out to Sharanya’s blog for the details. But if you are click-lazy, here’s the short version.

What? Original + Translated poems, to celebrate World Poetry Day & Good Friday
Where? Mocha, upper-reaches.
When? Friday, 21st March, 10 AM
Why? Um, it sounded like a good idea?
Who? Sharanya Manivannan, Meena Kandaswamy and Chandrachoodan Gopalakrishnan

Purusharta: The meaning of life

Well, to be honest, I got the `time’ part of it and the `death’ and `joy’ parts of it…but for the rest, I was mostly transfixed by the truly unique performance that was the Bangalore-based Attakalari Centre for Movement Arts’ Purushartha. Performed for the first time in India (after travelling all over the world), the group was on for one-night only at Music Academy on Wednesday and left the largely appreciative audience in considerable awe.

Attakalari works with “contemporary physical expressions and digital arts” and is a form influenced by Kalarippayattu, Yoga and Bharathanatyam among other Indian movement styles, as their brochure puts it. The performance itself, was of breathtaking snippets to the tune of, well, what someone described as “atonal” music, entwined with intangible rhythm patterns, that were there yet not quite, designed by Japanese sound performer Mitsuaki Matsumoto. To add the the already intriguing mix was Kunihiko Matsuo’s visuals and Naoki Hamanaka’s stage or rather light design, all directed and choreographed by Attakalari’s Jayachandran Palazhy (his gurus, the Dhananjayans’ were there to bless him)

Art By Evam

I recently caught a re-run of Evam’s Art. Its their first production, and supposedly their favorite. The story is pretty simple. Three friends, Mark, Sarge and Ivan, are there. Sarge blows an obnoxious sum of money on a piece of modern art. Like most commonfolk, Mark cannot appreciate the painting, and has issues with Sarge blowing money on it. In the middle of the conflict is Ivan who is getting married soon. The play is about how these three have their relationship defined by this painting.

Chennai Sangamam

If you are anywhere near the Elliots beach, go visit the Chennai Sangamam. Actually, if you are not anywhere near Elliots beach, move your posteriors to somewhere near Elliots beach, and then visit the Chennai Sangamam. It’s only on for 2 more days.

I had a blast today, sampling Virudhunagar kotthu parotta and drinking Jil Jil Jigal Dhanda. But the real fun was when the music started. 2 hours of exhilarating street art, from Silambattam, Therukkoothu, and Singara Melam (Chendai Kottu) and even some Jazz Carnatic electronica from Susheela Raman.

The Therukkoothu from Thiruvannamalai was hilarious and took some earthy digs at contemporary society. It featured Lord Yama, a comical man who is about to be taken by aforementioned for a ride on a buffalo, and strangely enough, Veerapaandiya Kattabomman as well.

Let me present a sample dialogue from that street play.


Moonshine and Skytoffee

Last Friday I decided to watch ‘Moonshine and Skytoffee’ which was a part of the celebrating 100 years of Basheer festival. The festival for some reason which I am unaware of is called ‘Under the Mangoostan Tree’.

The play was in the museum theatre, Egmore, which has lovely acoustics and not to mention the charming Victorian architecture. The play was a mix of two stories by Basheer, one is Love Letters, and the other story’s name, I sadly do not remember.

Why Chennai needs CAS or DTH?

I have been thinking for a long time whether to invest my money on CAS – Conditional access system or DTH Direct to Home television . Been missing some nice cartoon channels for my son.

Very recently I had been to my native place (Thrissur, Kerala) and checked out the number of channels in the Television. Whooping 100 and odd channels, Including the pay channels at a price of about 150 INR (Indian National Rupee) per month. Where as we pay 100 INR with limited channels and excluding the PAY channels. (some channels purposefully blocked due to competition, some times)

Kaalak Kanavu, feminist docu-play, to be screened

A Tamil play Kaalak Kanavu, that translates loosely as ‘A Dream of Time’ is being screened. If you’re interested in the women’s movement, feminism and modern history, you would want to go. The play is written by the well-known feminist and historian V.Geetha and directed by A. Mangai, who runs the feminist theatre initiative, Marappachi.

Date: 13th October 2007
Time: 4 p.m.
Venue: Queen Mary’s College

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