Theatre Sri Krishna Rayabaram staged recently showed why this classic is a big hit with the audience. Velcheti Subrahmanyam
Of all Telugu pouranic plays, Sri Krishna Rayabaram - Lord Krishna’s diplomatic mission- stands tall on several counts. Scripted by redoubtable poet duo of previous century Tirupati Venkata Kavulu , the classic continues to sway the viewers beyond the urban and rural divide. It was a big draw at Premasamajam auditorium in Visakhapatnam. Before the commencement of play, the team staged two scenes as lead up.
The performance began with the scene of Maya Sabha, the magnificent mansion of Pandavas, where emperor Suyodhana felt slighted, unable to make out its virtual and illusory interior designs. With Bagadi Vijaya Saradhi’s sterling portrayal of Suyodhana, the inaugural scene took the audience by storm.
Next scene was the popular ‘Padaka scene’, where Lord Krishna pretends to have been asleep on the arrival of Suyodhana and Arjuna to seek his help for the impending battle at Kurukshetra. And then came, ‘Rayabaram’. The inherent dramatic element of the theme coupled with superlative craft of the poets ensured it to be the much sought after play for both the learned and the laity.
Lord Krishna’s matchless knack of telling unpalatable truth in Kuru court about the inevitable consequences of war at Kurukeshetra and Suyodhana’s unbridled conceit, grand sire Bheeshma’s wise counsel to Suyodhana and Karna to see the reason and avoid war - all have found appealing theatrical expression. Rendition of metrical verses such as Baava Eppudi vachiteevu, Chelliyochellako, Jenda pai Kapiraju couched classical ragas without undue extension of raga part of rendition further endeared the performance.
B. A. Naidu as Srikrishna displayed exceptional histrionic talent. I. S. N. Murthy, Puli Sivaprasad, T. Dalinaidu, K. Satyanarayana, D. S. R. Reddy, and Kotamsetty Apparao did well. Bagadi Vijayasai on harmonium lent commendable support. Sri Sai Kala Niketan hosted it in its monthly schedule.