Theatre group Spandana staged two plays; one depicted the life of B.R Ambedkar and other portrayed the plight of the farmers.
The plays Ambedkar Rajagriha Pravesam and Padamati Gali (Western Wind) staged by the artistes of Hyderabad-based Spandana Theatre evoked warm response at Kalabharati Visakhapatnam. While the former dealt with the biographical details of Ambedkar, the latter focused on the plight of the farmers of small holdings in the wake of multi-national corporate ventures that acquire land through manipulations by wily political chicanery. In the contemporary scenario of globalization and liberalized economy, farmers, whose very means of livelihood remain a gambling with monsoon, are no more annadaatas. Trapped in a vicious debt trap, with no governmental help in offing in any form, they are left with no option but to part with their land for a song. This pathetic plight of farmers translated to an impressive theatrical performance in Padamati Gali.
Ramakotu, is a proud farmer of a small holding of four acres. He tries his best to keep his land against the insurmountable pressures of every conceivable kind but in vain. Debt trap, political manipulations, lure of easy money by his son, who turns into a pawn in the hands of land sharks besides fury of nature – all play a role in making a proud farmer a pauper. With fast changing scenes and effects a la Surabhi style, the play essayed well to capture agony of farmers in marathon session of three and half hours. Despite a documentary flavour and a novel like treatment, the narrative unfolded a realistic scenario on the stage.
G Balaramayya as Ramkotu, the protagonist displayed remarkable theatrical acumen, while S.M Bhasha as Mayodu gave a stellar performance. His uncanny ease in portrayal of myriad shades of an opportunistic land broker in village stood out and Surabhi Prabhavathi wore the role of Lachhimdevi to perfection. Her depiction of the emotional shades of a housewife particularly in trying times in family drew applause. In all a team of 80 artistes and technicians took part in it.
On the day before, it staged the play Ambedkar Rajagriha Pravesam. The narrative sought to present some chosen episodes from the life and works of Ambedkar. It was on the lines of a traditional theatre with Sutradhari and Nati narrating the import of different scenes and linking them in a seamless way. With commendable team spirit, the artistes donned their roles with aplomb. Patibandla Anandarao scripted and directed both the plays.
Keywords: Spandana theatre group