For the first time in the recent past, Tummalapalli Kshetrayya Kalakshetram, a prime venue for cultural events in the city, was completely filled on Sunday. The unlucky ones, who could not gain entry into the hall for want of passes, contended themselves with a live telecast on a screen put up outside. Thanks to Kanyasulkam, a social drama penned by doyen of Telugu literature Gurajada Appa Rao.
Artistes of Vizianagaram-based Navayuga Arts enacted the full-length drama, under the baton of Sontineni Kishore, for more than 8 hours with two short intervals in between. The audience remained glued to the seats until the drama reached climax. Except for chuckles and applauses, the hall remained silent and was free from ringing of the cell phones.
The audience watched the drama with rapt attention all through the eight hours. The poor sound system in the hall marred the efforts of the artistes. The audiences sitting in the back had a tough time following the dialogues. Every dialogue in the drama received applause from the audience. They burst into peels of laughter with the punchy dialogues and conversations between Gireesam and his student Venkatesam, accent of Angihotravadhanlu and romance between Ramappapanthulu and Madhuravani etc.
Seasoned performances came from the artistes: Uday Bhagavatula (Gireesam), Manibala (Madhuravani), R. Satyanarayana (Ramappapanthulu), BVS Krishna Mohan (Angnihotravadhanlu), Surabhi Vidyavathi (Venkamma), K. Venkata Padma (Buchamma), Jonnalagadda Sitarama Sastry (Lubdavadhanlu), Chaitanya (Venkatesam) etc.
The play was enacted in shorter lengths of about three hour, but it was for the first time in the city that the full length was enacted. Filled with humor, biting social commentary, parody, and masquerade, the plot revolves around a clever courtesan, a young widow, and a very old man who wants to buy as his wife a very young girl. Mr. Kishore said that it was second full-length show. First time it was enacted in Visakhapatnam. The drama was practised for nearly six months, he said.