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Enduring appeal

V. S.
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Theatre Verse-drama ‘Varavikrayam' still has its charm and appeal.

Social dramaA scene from the social drama 'Varavikrayam'
Social dramaA scene from the social drama 'Varavikrayam'

Classic verse drama Varavikrayam staged at Kalabharati Visakhapatnam evoked warm response. Penned by renowned playwright Kallakuri Narayanarao way back in 1922, the play remains a classic on several counts. That even after 90 years the play was a big draw testifies its enduring appeal.

Against the backdrop of a retired revenue official and Gandhian Punyamurthula Purushothammarao's family, the plot sought to highlight the wicked hold of dowry over society and how it plays havoc with the decent lives. Purushottamrao leads a well-knit family with his wife Bhramaramba and daughters Kalindi and Kamala. As fate would have it, he had to part with his ten acre wet land much against his ideals to pay dowry to marry his elder daughter Kalindi to Basavaraju, son of Singaraju Lingaraju a pawner notorious for his miserliness. Having been brought up in the lap of the reformative ambiance, Kalindi could not stand giving dowry. Distressed that her marriage leaves her parents penniless, she commits suicide.

Lingaraju refuses to payback the dowry money, though the marriage did not take place. Determined to teach a lesson, Kamala agrees to marry Basavaraju against the wish of her parents and ensues that marriage takes place as per schedule. Having got married, she refuses to go her in-law's house and demands that her husband be with her in her natal home for she has bought him paying huge dowry. Lingaraju sues her in the court of law for defying traditional norms of marriage. However, the judge pronounces verdict in her favour. Basavaraju sides with his wife and resuscitated Lingaraju seeks forgiveness from Purushottamrao.

With appropriate stage props and set design the period ambience was well provided that was conducive to its emotional appeal and the performance stood out for its histrionic excellence. With majority of cast being very seasoned, the team carried its respective roles with an ease. B.A. Naidu's sterling portrayal of Singaraju Lingaraju was awesome, while that of Pellilla Perayya by Dhavala Sanyasirao took the audience by storm. With perfect grip over diction and dialectical nuances and formidable stage presence crowned by exceptional theatrical talent both Dhavala and BA Naidu elevated the performance in ample measure. BVA Naidu (Purushottamarao), B. Vijayasai (Basavaraju), K. Vijayalakshmi (Bhramaramba), Venkatapadma (Kalindi), D. Jayalakshmi (Kamala), B. Hariramachandrarao, Trinadh, N.T. Raju, V. Anandarao, G. Apparao and others did well. A little more care by director about the norms of court proceedings would have enriched the court scene. K.G.R. Gandhi directed it. Badamgir Sai of Rangasai organised the event in a bid to get the youngsters exposed to classics in Telugu theatre.

V. S.


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