Going solo

Saraswathy Nagarajan
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Chatline Actor K. Gopalan talks to Saraswathy Nagarajan about the role of theatre in his life and his part in giving a new direction and sensibility to the theatre scene in Kerala

K.Gopalan is a non-conformist who calls a spade a spade and speaks disdainfully about the Malayali’s fascination for melodrama and nostalgia. Yet leading theatre directors in the State swear by this globetrotting actor who has the uncanny ability to get into the skin of each character he enacts on stage. Whether it be that of the protagonist in Vijay Tendulkar’s ‘Sakaram Binder’, Ariel in Footsbarn’s ‘Indian Tempest’ or a 90-year-old woman in ‘Spinal Cord’, to each he brings a rare intensity that makes the roles come alive on stage. Gopalan’s calling card is his formidable acting skills that mould his body language, expressions and voice into unforgettable characters on stage.

Speaking about his tryst with theatre Gopalan says that it is the only ‘pani’ (work) he knows, preferring to use the rather prosaic Malayalam word to lofty words such as vocation and passion. But passionate he is, about theatre and everything to do with it. So passionate that he dropped out of school after Class nine to immerse himself in theatre in Thrissur.

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