Right from his first play Melvilasam, which traces a court martial of a soldier, Soorya Krishnamurthy has displayed his affinity towards plots that evolve in real time.
In his latest work Deerkha Chathuram (Rectangle) which is set to be staged soon, he returns with another real-time plot centred on a television interview with a famous singer.
Speaking to The Hindu during the final round of rehearsals of the play here on Wednesday, Mr. Krishnamoorthi said Deerkha Chathuram was an experimental play that would also comment upon various ‘unfair tendencies’ in contemporary life.
“The play will have two main characters. A television screen will be placed at the centre. We have pre-shot footage involving these two characters and some others related to them. The action on the stage will gel with the footage on the screen and there will be sequences where the actors on stage react to the people on the screen. Also, it has been conceived in such a way that the technicians who handle the lighting and other things will also be part of the play,” said Mr. Krishnamoorthy.
He said the underlying theme of the play was our tendency to forget people who had played their part, at least in some small way, in our successes. “We all cross certain specific paths in our quest towards a goal. But once we reach the goal, we tend to forget the path. These paths have people on either side. In the case of the singer who is the protagonist of the play, there are people like the old man who gave him the first recording opportunity whom he has forgotten,” he said.
Neglect of true talent
According to Mr. Krishnamoorthy, the play will also be a critique of the popular music field where the “least talented lot are the most celebrated.” He cites the case of the late Carnatic musician and music director V. Dakshinamoorthy, who “did not even get a Padma Shri.”
The play will also have the character called Ammu, whom he calls his own voice. This character is a constant in all his plays.
As for the onstage props, in addition to the television screen, a minimalistic set of a television studio will be recreated. The play’s title points to the shape of the television screen. The length of the play will also be maintained at 90 minutes, the standard length of all his productions.
“Beyond 90 minutes, it is hard to get the undivided attention of the audience. even if the subject is deeply interesting,” he said.