‘Chakka’ portrayed ill-effects of globalisation and consumerism.

‘Chakka’, a play presented by Thrissur Natakasangham at T.D.M. Hall, Ernakulam, was a powerful satire on ill-effects of globalisation and consumerism, which makes us willing to accept everything marketed from the west and ignore and destroy our traditional products and culture. The play also portrays the threat the market economy poses to our natural resources and culture.

Presented in the ‘alley’ theatre form with people sitting two sides of the stage, the play was a new experience for the audience.

The play revolves around a jackfruit tree and two neighbours.

Their peaceful life is upset by rumours that Artocarpus heterophyllus (scientific name of jackfruit)leads to an incurable disease. People begin to stay away from the fruit and soon the farmers are in distress.

Pothen, a rich businessman, arrives on the scene. He offers loan to the farmers and purchases their products at a cheaper rate, as there are no takers for it. Pothen’s business plans and strong arm tactics remind viewers of similar strategies employed by multinationals.

Then the local people realise how they were taken by a ride by the unscuplous trader. The villagers plant a new tree where the huge jackfruit tree existed.

Dialogues by playwright Thuppettan (Subramanian Namboodiri) was enhanced by some fine acting by C.R. Rajan (who also directed it), K. B. Hari and Prabhalan Veloor. Jose P. Raphael, Prabhalan Veloor, Sudhi Vattappinni, and Mallu P. Sekhar were the other actors.

The programme was organised by BEAME and Ernakulam Karayogam.