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From the streets to the stage

Special Correspondent
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Ten beggars in city to don greasepaint for a play directed by a head-load worker

IN A DIFFERENT ROLE:Rehearsals for the play, ‘Vishudha Kolbe’, in progress in Thrissur on Wednesday.— Photo: By special arrangement
IN A DIFFERENT ROLE:Rehearsals for the play, ‘Vishudha Kolbe’, in progress in Thrissur on Wednesday.— Photo: By special arrangement

Ten beggars will don the greasepaint for ‘Vishudha Kolbe’, a play directed by a CITU head-load worker of Ariyangadi, the main rice market in Thrissur.

Two of the beggars are from Kerala and the rest from Tamil Nadu. They are mostly seen near the Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours here.

The play will be staged at the Vijaya Matha Church, Chiyyaram, on May 13 at 7 p.m.

It has been written by Babu Chelappadan, Vicar of Vijaya Matha Church, and directed by Jinto Thekkiniyathu.

“I work in the streets and the beggars are my friends. After watching an earlier play of mine, some of them had expressed interest in acting,” Mr. Thekkiniyathu said.

The play is on the life Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe, a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar, who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz, located in German-occupied Poland, during World War II.

Kolbe was canonized on October 10, 1982 by Pope John Paul II. The Pope described Kolbe as “the patron saint of our difficult century”. Kolbe had offered shelter to refugees from Greater Poland, including 2,000 Jews whom he hid from Nazi persecution in his friary in Niepokalan.

On February 17, 1941, he was arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned in the Pawiak prison and later shifted to Auschwitz.

Kolbe had visited Kochi. He arrived in the city on June 24, 1932.

He made efforts to publish the local edition of ‘The Knight of the Immaculate’.

About 150 people appear in the play.

Mr. Thekkiniyathu had earlier written and directed a play, ‘Morocasa’, involving 3,000 actors and technicians. It was about the life of St. Antony of Padua.

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