With several things working in its favour, Siva Sambho is a great entertainer.

Theatre of Maham (TOM) comprises a bunch of talented youngsters, who deserve special praise. One, for showing on screen the photographs of all the doyens who had served the cause of Tamil theatre with Sankaradas Swamigal leading the group and two, for roping in Mellisai Mannar M.S. Visvanathan to sing afresh his own number ‘Sambho Siva Sambho’ (from K. Balachander’s ‘Ninaithale Inikkum’).

The title cards for the play on screen are interspersed with shots, canned during the song recording.

Such is the fertility of MSV’s imagination, that he interprets this song, giving it new dimension with fresh sangatis. Can one call TOM an off-shoot of UAA? Most of them have had their moorings in the latter, which includes Sureshwar, Madhuvanthi Arun (daughter of Y.Gee. Mahendra) and Sudarshan.

Authentic touch

‘Siva Sambho,’ is set in a New York apartment. Director Sureshwar has obviously done his home work, as the sets and props including the street side park with the burger stall, the tube station (Sets: Tushitha Murali) and the outfits (Costume: Aparna Abhinay) give the play an authentic touch.

The premise is fresh but the plot travels the banal route of impersonation.

In the two bedroom apartment, Gayathri (Madhuvanthi Arun) and Maya (Srividya) share one room, while Michael (K.L. Mahesh) and Sandhya (Adhira) share the other as friends. Akash, an engineer and a new entrant to the U.S., convinces them to let him stay in the drawing room for which he promises to pay a rent of 500 dollars.

Unannounced, Gayathri’s father Pattabhi (Sureshwar) arrives in New York one day, for an international conference. He lands up at the apartment and is shocked to see Akash living there.

In order to escape his wrath, Gayathri and her friends hatch a plot.

They introduce Akash as Maya’s husband, who is waiting for their divorce to come through. But Pattabhi, an astrologer, vows to bring them together. Ekambaranathan aka Akon (Hari Ramakrishnan), a colleague of Akash, joins in the fun.

It all ends well with Gayathri telling her father that true (platonic) friendship can exist between a man and a woman and that parents should have faith in their children. The message makes Pattabhi realise his folly.

All the actors performed with ease. Sureshwar was a bit loud, which did not gel with the proceedings.

Young and bubbly, Hari excelled in his anglicised Tamil and kept the audience in splits whenever he appeared on stage.

However, the excessive use of certain Tamil slang words by Pattabhi made one squirm. K.L. Mahesh impressed with his laid back demeanour.

MSV’s background score did add to the mood and the saxophone bit with jazz-based chords was outstanding.

It is heartening to see this young group embark upon Tamil theatre and with their talent, they promise to scale great heights.