Nine short plays staged in Palakkad tried to hold a mirror to contemporary society in Kerala.
Rangoltsav, the third edition of short plays organised by Tripti Arts Palakkad (TAP), witnessed the staging of nine plays of 15-20 minutes' duration at the M.D. Ramanathan Hall of the Government Music College in Palakkad. The theatre festival proved to be a platform for actors and technicians to impress viewers with their skills in various departments of theatre.
All the plays questioned the development paradigm being adopted in Kerala. Some of them treated their subject with pessimism. Although the play `2075', directed by Parvati Varier, was performed well, it tried to tackle too many subjects, including environmental issues, in an unrealistic manner in just 20 minutes.
It was the same with ‘Kodungattu’, directed by Akshay Kumar. It, however, raised the question if development meant death? It also indicated that the system does not ensure that the rights of rural people are not overlooked.
Some of the plays failed to connect with the viewers though the issues they raised were relevant to the district and the State. ‘Atmabhimanam’, directed by Radhakrishnan Pallatt, was an example. Similarly, ‘Kolaveri’ by Cheramangalam Chamunni had a good cast but did not impress.
‘Kaval’, ‘Kattiruppu’, ‘Marupuram’ and ‘Oru Kochu Natakam’, four plays directed by Sekharipuram Madhavan, Lijo Panangadan, V. Sreeram Kalpathy, and M. Rajagopal respectively, had elements of theatre that established a rapport with the audience. However, ‘Daivakanam’ by Suresh Unni could not reach the expectations of the audience. ‘Kaval’, directed by Sekharipuram Madhavan, was a realistic portrayal of human bondage in an age of avarice, which does not know kinship. The child artistes in the play put up an excellent show through their effortless and natural acting.
‘Kattiruppu’ and ‘Oru Kochu Natakam’ had moving scenes when it came to portraying the elderly being dislocated and neglected by their own sons. They underscored the fact that among the most serious problems in contemporary Kerala society are issues connected to the State’s aging population.