Girl students of Kalamandalam Venkitaraman have done it again, declaring that future of Kathakali is safe in the hands of female artistes.

The young artistes, all prize-winners of youth festivals, presented ‘Lavanasuravadham' for Palakkad Kathakali Trust at Chembai Memorial Government Music College, here on June 19.

It was indeed an excellent effort and spoke volumes about Mr. Venkitaraman as a teacher. The grammar and acting of the play left nothing desired, said Kathakali expert E. Somapalan.

Lava and Kusha, sons of Rama, staying in the hermitage of sage Valmeeki, seek permission from their mother to go out to play with other children.

Sita, the mother, queries if they have completed their studies for the day and allows them to go out on the condition that they do not go deep into the forest.

While roaming around they come across a horse with declaration on its body that all land traversed by it will belong to King Rama.

Not knowing their relation with the king, they challenge his authority and secure the horse. Satrughnan, protector of the horse, confronts them and order to release the animal.

In the battle that follows the youngsters defeat him. Hanuman now comes to the scene and realises the gravity of the situation. He put up a mock fight with the children, feigns defeat and is tied up. The ‘monkey' is brought to Sita. She is shocked and sad to see Hanuman in that state. She admonishes the children and he is released.

The scene becomes a poignant and dramatic reunion. The drama ends by Sita leaving the scene and the boys becoming friends of Hanuman.

Arya is indomitable and she handled the role of Hanuman with great élan and finesse. Debutant Rachana as Sita was marvellous and gave a moving performance, said P.K. Narayanan of Palakkad Kathakali Trust.

Anisha as Kusha, Gana Murali as Lava, Aparna Ramachandran as Satrughnan gave good account of themselves. They made the scenes energetically thrilling, and handled the roles with maturity, he said.

One never felt that teenagers were on stage. None of the girls betrayed their lack of experience. Deepa Palanad and Meera Ram Mohan gave excellent musical background, much above ordinary. They rendered the songs soulfully enhancing the sentiments.

Sadanam Ramakrishnan and Devadas harmoniously accompanied on Chenda and Maddalam respectively making the evening exciting and enjoyable, Mr. Narayanan said.