Bombay Gnanam is back with her all-woman troupe that is ready with the new play, “Saswatham,” to be inaugurated by Kartik Fine Arts at the Narada Gana Sabha, Alwarpet, 7 p.m.
What kept Gnanam out for nearly two years? “Personal reasons. But stage was always on my mind. I was searching for a good subject too,” she explains. Did she find one?
“Yes. My plays, generally, are based on reality. ‘Saswatham’ is no exception. It will take a look at today’s woman, talented and ambitious. We are proud of her but there is a disturbing streak. Some get carried away and even neglect family, kith and kin in their quest for success. When they look back, they find themselves losing out on love, which alone is permanent,” expands Gnanam, in charge of story, dialogue and direction.
The play has a rural background and a joint family. Is there any highlight?
Gnanam brightens. “Sets,” she replies. “We have brought in an apartment complete with a lift. A lot of money and effort has gone into this department, handled by reputed technicians.”
How practical is it to run an all-woman troupe? “Not easy. More so if young girls are involved as it has happened in this production. It was almost impossible to coordinate the school/college girls with housewives and working women. But we have managed.”
They don male roles too, don’t they? “Yes. But of late I have tried to play down the male character, avoid it altogether if possible. In ‘Saswatham,’ for instance, you only hear of the man; he doesn’t actually enter the scene.”
Is she playing a vital role?
“I put in an appearance towards the end, but it is crucial to the play.”
The last effort of Mahalakshmi Ladies Drama Troupe was “NRI Wedding.”
“It was about the way boys from abroad get married here. They come here on a vacation and the parents quickly find them girls, whose parents acquiesce in without doing even basic verification. Result, the brides find themselves out on a limb once they land there. This touched a chord and I had several people coming back stage, expressing solidarity.”
How does it feel to come back after a hiatus? “Well, I’m all excited. And nervous too. We had enquiries about our long absence. Regulars among the audience said they were looking forward to our next play. So we have raised expectations and should live up to it. We’ll do our best,” signs off Gnanam upbeat.
Catch up with Saswatham at the following places, 7 p.m.:
Narada Gana Sabha on August 8, 9, 10 and 11.
Vani Mahal on Auguat 13 and Mylapore Fine Arts on August 14.