The theatrics of ‘Kalakeyavadham’ and ‘Thoranayudham’ were effectively captured by the actors during a recital in Irinjalakuda.
Two Kathakali plays – one each from the Mahabharatha and the Ramayana were staged in Irinjalakuda. While ‘Kalakeyavadham’, penned by Kottayathu Thamburan was from the Mahabharatha, ‘Thoranayudham’, written by Kottarakkara Thampuran, was from the Ramayana.
‘Kalakeyavadham’ narrates the story of Arjuna’s visit to his father Indra’s kingdom in heaven and Urvasi’s infatuation with the Pandava prince. As Arjuna spurns her advances, she curses him to become a eunuch. The crestfallen Arjuna is consoled by Indra, who predicts that the curse would be of help to him one day.
Kalamandalam Vijayakumar excelled as Urvasi. The damsel’s efforts to seduce Arjuna, essayed in the right tempo and rhythm, were the highlights of the play. Kalamandalam Jishnuravi (Sakhi), Kalamandalam Rajeevan (Arjuna) and Kalamandalam Athul (Indra) were the other performers who did well in their roles. Babu Namboodiri's and Harishkumar’s rendering of the padams played an important role in inspiring the performers. Evocative rendition of ragas Sankarabharanam, Kambhoji and Dwijavanthi was praiseworthy. At one point they deviated from the text by rendering Vachaspathi.
‘Thoranayudham’ is about Hanuman’s exploits in Lanka and his encounters on the way to the island kingdom. Meanwhile Ravana tries to woo Sita by comparing himself to Rama. Enraged by her scorn and disinterest, he tries to kill Sita but is intercepted by his wife Mandodari.
Hanuman enters the garden, wreaks havoc and creates panic before being captured. Hanuman unleashes destruction even after his tail is set on fire.
Kottakkal Devadas triumphed in the role of Hanuman. His manodharma performances as well the vivid expression of the various obstacles during his journey were superb and amazing.
Kalamandalam Pradeepkumar’s slow but poised movements right from the Thiranottam portrayed the arrogant but valorous Ravana. Other roles were handled by Sadanam Vishnuprasad (Lanka lakshmi), Kavya Pushpangadan (Mandodari) and Kalamandalam Jishnuravi (Sita). The music was rendered by Sadanam Sivadas and Sadanam Jyothishababu.
On the chenda were Kottakkal Vijayaraghavan, Kalamandalam Venumohan and P.V. Vinayak. Kottakkal Ravi, Sadanam Devadas and Kalanilayam Sankaranunny played the maddalam. Kalamandalam Ravikumar and Kalamandalam Nikhil were the chutti artistes.
The plays were staged in connection with the 39th anniversary celebrations of Dr. K.N. Pisharody Memorial Kathakali Club.