Twenty young artistes staged Kottarakkara Thampuran's `Kharavadham.'
`Kharavadham,' a play written by Kottarakkara Thampuran, was performed at the Natakasala of Ambalappuzha Srikrishna Swami Temple. Kottarakkara Thampuran wrote eight attakkathas, of which `Karavadham' is the fourth. All the eight stories have been drawn from the Ramayana. Although three of his attakathas became popular, `Karavadham' is not on that list. That was what prompted the organisers to promote the play by staging it recently.
Twenty artistes from different parts of Kerala gathered at Ambalapuzha for a brainstorming session to decide the choreography of the play. The four-hour show narrates the story of Soorpanekha's meeting with Rama and Lakshmana. Her vain attempt to charm the brothers enrages her and when she tries to attack them, Lakshmana mutilates her. Although Khara, Soorpanekha's brother, tries to avenge his sister, he is killed in the battle. Kalamandalam Pradeep, an up-and-coming artiste, played Rama brilliantly. He ably maintained the `sthayibhava' of the character and his graceful movements helped him enact the character well. Lalitha (Soorpanekha's attractive version) was donned by Kalamandalam Vijayakumar. Ettumanur P. Kannan portrayed Khara. The sthayibhava of valour was effectively portrayed by him. Kalamandalam Rajivan (Lakshmana), Kalamandalam Prasanth (Soorpanekha) and Madhu Varanasi (Sita) were the other actors. Pathiyur Sankarankutty and Kalamandalam Hareesh Nambuthiri were the singers. After seeing the show, one wondered why this attakkatha has not become popular. The story is rich in visualisation and presentation possibilities and many of the veshams such as Kathi, Pacha and Minukku have been included in the story. Perhaps, this show is a step in the right direction in reviving this play.