Are you a fan of historical drama and an avid reader of Kalki? Then head to Sri Krishna Gana Sabha. ‘Aaditha Karigalan,’ a take-off from ‘Ponniyin Selvan,’ is presented by M.G. Murugesan, poet, orator and veteran actor in the late R.S. Manohar’s troupe. A regular in the plays of D. Balasundaram, K.R.S. Kumar and T.K.S. Pugazhendi, Murugesan dons the title role in his maiden production under the banner, Vaanavil Nataka Manram.

The play was first staged in October 2012 under the auspices of Kartik Fine Arts. Releasing Bombay Kannan’s audio cassette of Ponniyin Selvan, Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetty said he was encouraged to sponsor the effort after watching ‘Aaditha Karigalan,’ when it was staged by Brahma Gana Sabha. “I have read Kalki’s epic and admired the skill with which a theme from ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ had been developed into a full-fledged play,” he observed. Screenplay and dialogue are by K.P. Arivanandam, another veteran from Manohar’s troupe.

The play has an interesting background. S. Shivpprasadh, nephew of R.S. Manohar, says: “After the success of ‘Indrajit,’ Manohar wanted to do a historical. Arivanandam suggested the character of Aaditha Karigalan and went on to write a full screenplay. The two met ‘Kalki’ Rajendran, who, after initial hesitation, gave his approval and an elated Arivanandam began working on the dialogue.

“News about the play reached the ears of MGR, who at that point of time was planning a film on Kalki’s novel. He spoke to Manohar, who dropped the play. But the film was never made. No progress was made on the drama front either. Now after four decades, Murugesan has picked up the subject. The two-hour play is crisp with all the actors giving their best. From costume to make-up and dialogue delivery, it has been meticulously planned and executed.” The play is part of of Sri Krishna Gana Sabha’s Chithirai Nataka Vizha.