They were staging Oedipus Rex when a section of male students booed them

Lewd remarks reportedly greeted a few women students who participated in the English drama competition on Thursday at the University of Calicut’s D-Zone Youth Festival being held at Sree Krishna College here.

The timely intervention of the organisers brought the situation under control. An altercation ensued between the organisers and a section of male students who allegedly made the remarks.

The contest began with the students of a women’s college presenting ‘Oedipus Rex,’ an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that told the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes the king of Thebes who was destined from birth to murder his father, Laius, and marry his mother, Jocasta.

Boos from a section of the male students greeted the women performers from the start, so much so that even the dialogues were inaudible. The male students also allegedly made obscene remarks.

The contest was held in the early hours of Thursday and judged by experts in theatre Sankar Venkiteswaran, C.R. Rajan, and Prabalan Velur.

“The male students should have behaved well. The attitude of students in general to a serious play shocks me even more,” Mr. Rajan said. Mr. Velur said any response from the audience should not cross the limits. "As judges, we cared little for the disturbances from the male students. Boos and hisses did not influence our judgement. We went by the merit of the plays. In any case, students should show some decorum. After all, youth festivals are a training ground for life,” he said. A parent wondered whether the male students who allegedly made the remarks were under the influence of alcohol.