‘Tirukachinambi’ warmed hearts in terms of acting and production.

It was good to see an almost houseful audience at the Mylapore Fine Arts Club auditorium. R.L. Narasimhan’s Gangai Kalalaya’s 13th stage production, ‘Tirukachinambi’ kept the viewers riveted with crisp narration, scene order and some powerful and moving dialogue, the credit for all these aspects going to Arunagiri, who also directed the play.

Mentored by P.S. Sivanandham, a senior artist with Nawab Raja Manickam Pillai company, his skills honed by his association with Sakthi Nadaga Sabha, Arunagiri had trained the artists very well. Many of them are software professionals for whom stage is a passion.

The lines sparkled in the exchange between Ramanuja and his wife, the six gospels of truth imparted by Varadharaja Perumal to Ramanuja through Tirukachinambi, Mahavishnu’s interpretation of the rift between Saraswathy and Brahma, and Nambi’s plea for salvation to name a few instances.

Andal Jayanthi proved her mettle not only in dialogue delivery and histrionic skills but in quick costume change, make-up and hairstyle as she played multiple roles – as Ramanuja’s wife, Saraswati, Atiruthuzhai, Nambi’s daughter and Parvati.

Special mention should be made about senior artist Yuvaraj who did well as Tirukachinambi’s father and Madapalli Maama. Given the short time to prepare (he had to slip into the title role assigned to M. Shanmugam) Nandhakumar, slated to play Ramanuja, excelled. This in turn had set off a chain reaction and the acquitted themselves well: Ganesan donned the role of Ramanuja and Varadharaja Perumal, Udhayakumar was Sivan and Nambi’s follower, Rajesh was Brahma, Kalyanaraman was Varadhan, Sarathy was Thirumizhisai Alwar and Venkatesa, Vignesh was Ranganatha, Mahavishnu and Periya Nambi. With the comedy track proving a weal link, Suresh and Uma did not get scope to prove their talents.

M. Kandaswamy’s musical novelty replacing instrumental music during scene changes with vocal renditions of Nithyasree Mahadevan and MS went down well with the audience. His re-recording and special sound effects also need special mention here.

Sets and the rich costume by Padma Stage Madurai Kannan provided a visual feast. The lighting aspect was well taken care of by N. Balan. Kudos to Perambur Kumar for quickly working on the make-up of the artists, who played more than one role.

Thus it came as a surprise when with a storm raging, Periya Nambi and Tirukachinambi (disguised as Madhavan) entered with their clothes absolutely dry! An omission in an otherwise meticulously executed production.

Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha deserves to be commended for inaugurating this highly informative play. Will other sabhas follow suit?