Telugu play Bhoothakalam in Hyderabad: Mind matters

A 90-minute musical production by Hyderabad-based theatre group Govada Creations has a novel presentation, says its director Venkat Govada

February 29, 2024 03:00 pm | Updated 03:33 pm IST

Artists during rehearsals

Artists during rehearsals | Photo Credit: special arrangement

March 1 is examination day for Govada Creations as the Hyderabad-based theatre group gears up to stage the Telugu play Bhoothakalam. “Eee natakam oka pedda pariksha maaku (This play is a big exam for us). We are geared up to face the challenge,” says its director Venkat Govada, referring to the anxieties a team experiences while staging a play for the first time.

Musical production

During rehearsals

During rehearsals | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Conceptualised and created by Venkat, who has also adapted the story of renowned writer Diwakar Babu’s story to stage, this 90-minute musical production, with a bit of dance and a minimalistic and versatile set, has a crew and cast of 30 people.

Build your own life

Cast and crew of Bhoothakalam

Cast and crew of Bhoothakalam | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Govada Creations has staged around 25 Telugu plays in its 15-year-old theatre journey. The plays try to create social awareness and portray the importance of human values. Bhoothakalam too explores a similar subject and shows different aspects of human emotions while harnessing the power of the mind. “Instead of depending on God for all things to happen in life, the story encourages us to build our own lives,” says Venkat, adding, “The play also shows the consequences when greed and dishonesty shroud our minds.”

A modern-day setting shows Kaamandu (a common man) about to commit suicide as Ativa (a girl) rejects his proposal as he is poor. Ghosts come to his rescue by granting him four ravas (reverse of varaalu, meaning wishes). Kaamandu uses the ravas to his advantage until an incident changes his perspective and makes him realise the strength and confidence he was looking for externally, actually comes from within.”

Novel presentation

Venkat hopes the audience appreciates the novelty of their presentation. “Telugu natakam is still at an amateur stage and making a shift slowly to join the professional league, but it still has a long way to go before it becomes a full-fledged commercial theatre. Unlike theatre groups in other languages that experiment with their presentation and storylines, the 75 Parishat groups in the two Telugu states have not evolved,” he observes, adding, “I don’t want to pass judgement on their style as I am also part of the group. We are only attempting to change the concept to move forward.”

During rehearsals

During rehearsals | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Depending on financial viability, there are plans to stage Bhoothakalam at different centres

Bhoothakalam to be staged at Ravindra Bharathi on March 1; Tickets: ₹99; available at

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