It’s a hat-trick for Manoj Narayanan, who has won the best director award of the Sangeetha Nataka Akademi for the third time in a row this year.
This is for the fourth time that the young director, hailing from Vadakara in Kozhikode, who has been on and off the stage for the last 15 years, is winning the top honours from the State for direction through his latest stage outing Kuriyedath Thathri.
A bachelor at 35, Manoj loves theatre more than ‘anything else’ in life. Doing theatre from his school days and winning prizes for directing and acting from his college days, Manoj is a familiar name not merely in theatre circles but also among students of numerous schools and colleges across the State, where he holds theatre camps and workshops.
The award brings him ‘special joy’ this time since the play, Kuriyedath Thathri, which is woven around a quite contemporary theme-- atrocities against women in the present society, has also bagged several other honours including the best actress and the actor award.
While the play has been also adjudged as the second best play this year, it also played a key role in winning the best script award for Hemanth Kumar, who did the scripting.
“I am so overwhelmed that my humble efforts could play a role in bringing credit to several members of my team in different levels,” said Mr. Manoj.
If it was two of his plays – Perunthachan and Varthamanathilekkoru Kannaki – that brought him the crown last year it was Nellu, presented by Pookkad Kalalayam, that brought him the Akademi’s honour for the best director the year before.
Manoj is no product of any known schools of drama.
He learned to perform from life. Watching numerous plays being staged and listening to the doyens of the art have also helped him.
The director who loves to craft his plays in a way that communicates with the masses, however, is not against experimentation in the medium as long as one can afford it.
“I have attempted at some of such novelties in Thathri, which is a theatric take on the present plight of women in our society through the narrations of a group of castrated men,” says the director.