Friday Review » Music

Updated: September 14, 2011 20:56 IST

A musical classic

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Seema Azharuddin
Seema Azharuddin

EVENT Kartaal Productions is ready with its next mega production with Ilayaraja's music

‘Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?I am, I am,' was maestro Illayaraja's response when he was approached with a request to compose music ,” informs Dr. Srikanth Iyengar. “And that's how my play ends as well,” adds the theatre director. Kartaal Productions, this year, will have the maestro Ilayaraja conduct and compose music for their Broadway Classic production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf by the renowned playwright Edward Albee.

Directed by Dr. Srikanth Iyengar, the play which is an abridged version of the original, is dramatic from the beginning to the end. Kartaal Productions is the only theatre group with an all Indian cast and crew to be invited to perform on Broadway, New York for a season and the team will be there in September through October in 2012 with their last year's production of Tennesee Williams' A Streecar Named Desire.

Seema Azharruddin who plays the role of Martha in the latest Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, says, “I couldn't have waited for a better role than this one. Don't want to sound big but I couldn't think of anyone else than myself who will best fit the role of Martha. After Streetcar Named desire, I wanted to do something similar, something that will keep up the standards of theatre, make a benchmark. Hand in hand with cultural affairs In India I was looking at a professional, emotional, spiritual aspect of regional theatre. And here English theatre never took off; people were not getting closer to literature in English. .”

Seema says I don't want to crowd my stage, I want my few select actors to move the audience with their performance.

How did she manage to rope in Ilayaraja? Both Seema and her director exchange glances and smile, “After being informed about Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, I asked Seemaji about the star attraction for the play. She thought for a while and said, last year it was the cast this year why not music? Best in music? Ilayaraja, ofcourse. The task was to tell a maestro like Ilayaraja about what I wanted and how his music should be weaved in, according to my script,” sighs Srikant.

What makes the production special is that it will also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the play's performance. “The first time it was staged on October 13, 1962 in New York and after that this play has been staged somewhere or the other onevery single day without fail,” explains Seema.

What's next? Seema says, “I want to start a theatre season and allow the audience to watch any play at their convenience. Tourists visiting the city should time their Hyderabad visits to watch classics during the season. We also plan to take Streetcar.. across the country very soon.”

Meanwhile Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? will be staged at Ravindra Bharathi on Oct 22, 23, and 24.

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