The complete version of 'Kanyasulkam’ saw 40 artistes and 15 technicians participate.

Classics, like wine, get better as years pass by. ‘Mahakavi’ Gurajada Apparao’s classic Kanyasulkam belongs to that rare category. Over a century and half back it exploded on Telugu literary scene and continues to vibrate undiminished on any count of excellence. Beneath glossy exterior of dialogue-oriented fun lies the very dark shades of life in its wretched state. Morbid social scenario of those days that the play captured in its every frame makes us laugh and tremble to the core at the same time. It is a robust combination of brawny plot and zinging dialogue that make the play so addictive to the Telugu theatre buffs. Further, its reformist undercurrent touches a responsive chord and makes one ponder over several aspects of society, their inevitable ramifications and need for introspection to set the things right.

Thanks to mammoth efforts of a staunch theatre buff Badamgir Sai, theatre aficionados were treated to its eight-hour long full version at Manasi auditorium of Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) Visakhapatnam. Directed by Sontineni Kishore and staged by the artistes of Vizianagaram-based Nava Yuva Arts, it was a big draw.

From the first scene of Girisam’s soliloquy “Sayamkaalam ayyindi” to the curtain downer “damn it katha addangaa tirigindi”, the energetic performance kept the viewers glued. In particular the scenes with conversations in English between Girisam and Venkatesam, Girisam’s dilemma over whether or not to marry a widow, Madhuravani’s laughter over the contents of a letter, common folk’s gossip in the grove behind the liquor shop …, found appealing theatrical expression. Being a native troupe the cast has excelled in their grasp and delivery of dialectical nuances which helped sustain tempo intact all through. A team of about 40 artistes and 15 technicians took part. Rangasai Kala Peetham hosted it to mark Gurajada Apparao’s 98th death anniversary.