Kathadi Ramamurthi stole the show in Shraddha’s ‘Yavarukkumaam Oru Kaadhal.’

Theatre group Shraddha’s 13th production was a breezy comedy titled ‘Yavarukkumaam Oru Kaadhal’ that proved to bea fruitful venture.

Although there were nine players on stage, it was the veteran Kathadi Ramamurthy who carried the entire play on his shoulders with his brilliant acting.

Anand Raghav made up for a wafer thin story line with sharp dialogue, succinct and subtle. Writing for an actor is an art and Anand seems to have mastered this with respect to the lines for Kathadi, who in turn never let him down.

Cherry is a widow. , having lost her husband to the pangs of liquor and tobacco. She hates men who drink and smoke as her husband succumbed to the ill-effects of alcohol and cigarettes.

The characters

The plot goes thus… Abhinaya (Karishma) and Adithya (Anand Ram) live in the U.S. Their friendship blossoms into love and they decide to get married. The only hitch is Abhinaya is older than Adithya. So, Adithya seeks the help of his father Terry’s friend Jayatheertha Rao alias Jerry (Kathadi Ramamurthy) to play the envoy.

Jerry, a bachelor, is a devotee of Lord Hanuman. A retired bank employee, he lives with his colleague and widower friend Thyagarajan alias Terry (Girish Ayyapath), who is also retired. Jerry is totally dependent on Terry for anything and everything. And Terry never fails him.

The casting takes a beating here as Girish (who plays the title role in the TV serial, ‘Swami Vivekananda’) is shown elder to Kathadi. At least, the dialogue suggests that as Kathadi calls him ‘Anna.’

Abhinaya’s mother Sulochana alias Cherry (Suchithra Ravi), a widow, is a Mathematics professor who lives in the same locality. She visits Terry to handover some things sent by Adithya from the U.S.

The twist comes when Cupid’s arrow strikes Terry and Cherry Jerry tries to nip the romance in the bud with help from a lawyer friend, but his plans go awry.

Dr. Romeo, the lawyer’s husband, is a marriage counsellor. A Quixotic character, he is always accompanied by a violinist (Rohan Iyer) who plays romantic Western classical music.

Swaminathan Ganesan, who donned the role of ‘Vadavooran’ effectively in an earlier play, has a diametrically opposite role here.

Which pair makes it to the altar? The young couple or the older pair? That’s for you to watch and find out.

Effective one-liners

“Every new acquaintance who comes our way is God’s scheme to affect our lives in some way or other,” and “Kissing in public places is against Indian tradition but same is not the case when it comes to pissing in public…” were some effective one-liners from Anand Raghav. However, the same could not be said of the ‘telephonic’ exchanges between Jerry and Adithya talking about the physical appearance of Abhinaya. This did not gel with the standard expected of Shraddha.

The theme offered a lot of scope for funny situations and Kathadi scored a perfect 10 with his body language, slapstick and dialogue delivery. Suchithra Ravi was dignity personified and emoted very well – she’s a fine find.

Girish Ayyappath did a neat job while Anand Ram looked natural. Debutant Karishma’s lachrymose reactions (she uses only her eyes and hands to emote) in the climax evoked sympathy.

G. Krishnamurthy’s direction was a plus. A point to ponder: a woman, who has been tortured by a drunkard husband, inadvertently drinks a glass of liquor mixed with cola to quench her thirst. It looked odd when she asked for more.

The play was staged recently over four days under the auspices of Kartik Fine Arts, Narada Gana Sabha, Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha and Brahma Gana Sabha at Sathguru Gnanananda Auditorium, in Chennai.

Watch ‘Yavarukkumaam Oru Kaadhal’ on March 22 and 23 at Vani Mahal, T. Nagar, under the auspices of Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha and Shraddha.