Sri Krishna Rayabaram was staged recently to a rousing response, with the actors turning out credible performances.

Popular Telugu pouranic play Sri Krishna Rayabaram — Lord Krishna’s diplomatic mission — stands out on several counts. Scripted by the redoubtable poet duo of the previous century — Tirupati Venkata Kavulu — it has become a classic in its own right. Abiding emotive appeal of mythology and its inherent dramatic element found a superlative poetic treatment in the hands of the poet duo. Equipped with lucid verses redolent with idiomatic flavour, crisp and punchy dialogue, it formed a treat even for reading as a great literary work. Combined with histrionics its abiding appeal knows no bounds. Greats like Pisapati, Shanmukhi and Raghuramayya had immortalised it on stage and popularised to such an extent that the classic continues to appeal to viewers beyond the urban and the rural divide. It was therefore obviously a big draw recently at Premasamajam auditorium, Visakhapatnam.

Before the play commenced, the team staged two scenes as a lead up. The performance began with the scene of Maya Sabha, the magnificent mansion of Pandavas, where Emperor Suyodhana felt slighted when Darupadi laughed at his inability to differentiate its virtual and illusory designs. With Bagadi Vijaya Saradhi’s excellent portrayal of Suyodhana, the inaugural scene took the audience by storm. The next scene was popular ‘Padaka scene’, where Lord Krishna pretends to be asleep on the arrival of Suyodhana and Arjuna to seek his help for the impending battle at Kurukshetra. While the drawn out Sanskrit encrusted sonorous dialogues of Suyodhana in Maya sabha evoked warm response, well-rendered popular verses like ‘Baava eppudu vachhiteevu’ in Padaka scene further sustained the tempo. And finally, the scene of Rayabaram held the viewers spell-bound. With good grip over the lyrical nuances of the verses being rendered, the team members portrayed their respective roles with fairly good delineation of its emotional outlines.

The sensible rendition of the verses couched in classical ragas with no undue extension of raga part of it in a vain display of power, heightened its emotive appeal. Lord Krishna’s matchless diplomatic skill in speaking the unpalatable truth in Kuru court about the inevitable consequences of War at Kurukeshetra and Suyodhana’s unbridled conceit, grand sire Bheeshma’s wise counsel to Suyodhana and Karna to see the reason and avoid war — all found appealing theatrical expression.

Guntreddy Balarama Swamy, who was earlier felicitated on a warm note, donned the role of Sri Krishna with aplomb. Bagadi Vijaya Saradhi (Suyodhana), T. Dalinaidu (Arjuna), Rongali Ramulu, S. B Raju, B.V.A. Naidu, G.S. Reddy, and Kotamsetty Apparao took part.

Bagadi Vijayasai and Kareem on harmonium lent creditable support. Sri Sai Kala Niketan featured it in its monthly schedule.