‘Vipranarayana' was marked with good performances.
If theatre enthusiasts showed extra interest in watching this production ‘Vipranarayana', it was because of the memorable film of the same title with ANR and Bhanumathi in the lead. In fact this play was presented in the very presence of the legendary actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao.
Palleti Kulasekhar, the playwright and director of this production, put in a great effort to streamline this production as a verse play. The play ran on familiar path for some time but steered away in playing up other characters and also in musical content. It was loaded with umpteen verses, totally new, which could not be followed because of lack of clarity of sahitya. And, the accompanying sounds drowned the voices. This play was staged at Ravindra Bharati recentlyby Vivekananda Nagar Cultural Association to celebrate the play's win of Golden Nandi award of the state government and also to felicitate the winners of individual awards – best director Lakshmi Kulasekhar, best actress Surabhi Prabhavati, best villain P.Vijaykumar and best stage craft creator Kishore. They were felicitated by A. Nageswara Rao, the chief guest.
The central theme of this stage production is on familiar lines, with a few changes in character roles, like the one played by Vijay Kumar as Pundareeka Sastry. It is about how Devadevi (Surabhi Prabhavati) who belongs to the family of prostitutes, traps Vipranarayana (T. Nagireddy), a great devotee of Ranganatha who remains a bachelor to pursue his devotion to Lord Ranganatha.
Once Vipranarayana becomes an easy prey of Devadevi, the dialogues and the rest of the drama touched a new low and became incompatible with the character of Vipranarayana. Among the artistes Prabhavati, Vijayakumar, Srilakshmi and Ramachandra Rao (as archaka of the temple) gave outstanding performances. Nagireddy's performance just toed the line of the script. Vijakumar's rendition style of verses was the most attractive feature of the musical play.G.S.