Author Archives: Manu

Play of light and shadows

As the lamps were lit, the stage came alive with characters from mythology. The Tholpavakoothu that was performed at Vylloppilly Samskriti Bhavan, Thiruvananthapuram, was an ode to the skills of the artistes and their style of storytelling. Behind long white curtains, the nimble fingers of celebrated artistes of the Palakkad-based Krishnankutty Pulavar Memorial Tholpava Koothu Sanghom, breathed life into the leather puppets that were transformed into the characters of the Ramayana. A ritualistic performance dedicated to Bhadrakali, Tholpavakoothu, a form … Continue reading

Vignettes of life

The theatre festival organised in connection with the Soorya Dance and Music Festival comprised some interesting plays staged in Kerala over the last year. s the curtain fell on the 10-day Soorya theatre festival, theatre buffs in Thiruvananthapuram were a contented lot as they were treated to a variety of plays. While some of the plays stuck to traditional narratives, a few, literally, took the play into the audience. ‘Ithu Oru Kurangante Kadhayalla,’ scripted and directed by Jayaprakash Kuloor, was … Continue reading

Stage for Bhakti

‘Bhakthakavi Poonthanam’ centred on the life of Poonthanam Namboothiri. When Arya Antharjanam broke down holding her dead child close to her breast, the audience held its collective breath in distress. Their eyes filled up upon hearing the reaction of the child’s father, Poonthanam Namoothiri, the legendary poet whose devotion to Lord Krishna was ested by this sudden tragedy… “While little Krishna is dancing in our hearts, do we need little ones of our own?” The Karthika Tirunal Theatre in East … Continue reading

Return of the Kabooliwallah

Rabindranath Tagore’s story about the friendship between a little girl and a Kabooliwallah was staged in connection with the litterateur’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations. The paper with an ink-smeared print of a little hand is falling to pieces. But, as the shabby man gives him that bit of yellowed paper, Ravi is able to perceive what that little imprint conveys. He sees the innocent face of a girl waiting for her father in a land of mountains. Ravi’s eyes well … Continue reading