T. K. GANAPATHY

The plays stage at the Coimbatore drama festival offered food for thought.

Kovai KRS Troupe's Drama Festival 2006 held in Coimbatore recently offered a fare not only sumptuous in content and neat screenplay but had messages as well. Held at the open air auditorium of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, R. S. Puram this past week, the drama festival had. players from Chennai, Mumbai and Madurai showcasing their talents. Inaugurated by auditor C. G. Venkataramanan, the week-long festival attracted sizeable crowds on all days. Bombay Balu's "Passmark" portrayed the straightforwardness and honesty of a college professor who refuses to give in to the pressure tactics of the powers-that-be to award grace marks to the wards of influential persons. Even when confronted by powerful forces, the teacher does not relent.

A musical opera

`Satyavan Savithri,' based on Sankaradas Swamigal's story staged by Madurai Tamil Nadu Naadaga Nadigar Sangham as "Valli Thirumanam" was a musical opera. The songs celebrating the celestial wedding of Valli were rendered by the characters themselves with perfect alignment to sruti, although the high decibel was sometimes jarring. Sri Balan's rhythmic beats on the percussion instruments won all-round acclaim. Chennai Railpriya's "Vambu Idhu Pudhusu," a full-length comedy, highlighted the corruption rampant among officials of the municipal corporations even in issuing a death certificate. Peon Karmegham (Kiruba) and insurance agent (Sathish) provided hilarious moments. "Mega Serial" presented by United Visuals of TV Varadharajen from Chennai highlighted the impact of present day soap operas of the small screen. The message was not to become a slave of the idiot box. Produced and directed by Vedam Pudhidu Kannan, the cast included professional actors appearing in television serials. Chennai Mayan Theatres' "Kuraionrumillai," written and produced by Raadhu, dealt with a father who sticks to his principles and makes no compromises. But the man is forced to bend.