Gifted with talent and a teacher to train him in the nuances of theatre, Vishnu's rare honour comes as no surprise.
C. Vishnu, a Std X student of Thiruvangur Government Higher Secondary School, is the recipient of a rare honour. He was adjudged the Best Actor in the State School Arts Festival for two consecutive years. To add to the glory, the plays in which he had acted won the award for the Best Play on both the occasions. His teacher Shivadasan Poyilkavu too shares the credit, for it was he who directed both the plays.
Vishnu had played a comic character named Abu in Aatho Poratho (Inside or outside) which had won the title last year. The play was penned by Mr. Poyilkavu.
This year's play Pachaplavila (Green leaf of a jack fruit tree) was written by journalist A.P. Rajendran and Vishnu had played the role of an army man in it. Mr. Poyilkavu said that Vishu's character was much acclaimed by the judges for the range of emotions it evoked.
Mr.Poyilkavu is associated with the “Sunday Theatre” programme for children, which has been active in Kozhikode for some years. Vishnu has been an active participant in the Sunday Theatre since 2007 and had been an indispensable part of all of Mr. Poyilkavu's plays since then.
Vishnu attributes his success as an actor to the training he received in Sunday Theatre. The students who are part of the programme get exclusive training in all forms of theatre from the best faculty in town. With the Kozhikodan Natakotsava Samithi patronising the programme recently, the children get to interact and share views with noted theatre personalities of the state.
Pachaplavila, after winning the title, was the third play to be staged at the Natakotsava Samithi's Monthly Theatre programme. This was a rare honour for the team, which consisted of only high school students, as Parinayam written by Jnanapith Laureate M.T. Vasudevan Nair and Spanish play ‘Lorentia' were the first two.
Art within art
Pachaplavila is a play set with a Christian backdrop featuring an aged woman who is not ready to leave her hometown and go to America even though her son wants her to live with him and his family in the U.S.
What makes Pachaplavila even more special is the sub plot of a Chavittu Natakam rehearsal going on at her home which has a plot much similar to that of her situation. The best feature of the play is that these children were able to rejuvenate Chavittu Natakam, a dying art form.