‘When the Crows Visit’ to be staged in Kannada as ‘Kaakadosha’ in Bengaluru

The play, translated to Kannada and directed by Venkatesh Prasad, will be staged at Ranga Shankara on February 22 and 23

February 19, 2024 05:22 pm | Updated 05:22 pm IST

Stills from the play

Stills from the play | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Bengaluru-based theatre director Venkatesh Prasad has adapted Anupama Chandrasekhar play, When The Crows Visit into Kannada as Kaakadosha. The play, directed by Venkatesh will be staged by the Bangalore Theater Collective, which he co-founded in 2015 with Sushma Rao.

Kaakadosha, Venkatesh says over the phone amidst rehearsals from JP Nagar, is set in a traditional family in Bengaluru. “It revolves around a widow Sharada and her only son, Akshay who lives in Mumbai. Anupama’s play also draws inspiration from Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts.“

When The Crows Visit is based on a true incident that happened in 2012, Venkatesh says. “The English original of the play premiered at Kiln Theatre, London in October 2019, and was directed by Indhu Rubasingham. It is being staged for the first time in Kannada.”

A software engineer, Venkatesh quit the field to pursue theatre and has been in Bengaluru for over two decades.

Kaakadosha is an exploration of toxic masculinity within Indian society. The story oscillates between a comic portrayal of family dynamics and a raw examination of the destructive force of toxic masculinity. Our play aims to navigate through these nuanced layers of narratives, acknowledging its inspiration from real-life incidents.”

Venkatesh commenced his theatre journey with one of the oldest theatre companies in Bengaluru — Samudaya. He worked with theatre stalwarts including Prakash Belawadi, MS Sathyu, Abhishek Majumdar, Mohit Takalkar, Sripada Bhat, Pramod Shiggaon, Surrendranath S and Samkutty Pattomkary. He is also the artistic director of Bangalore Theatre Collective.

In theatre, Venkatesh has donned roles as a translator, production manager and stage manager. He has represented India as one of the delegates for the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival (2015), supported by The British Council.

Even though When The Crows Visit, looks like a family drama, Venkatesh says, it explores how patriarchy is deep rooted in our lives and has become a part of our value system. “While this is one aspect that the play deals with, it also talks about violence on women and explores what makes certain people violent. These are the elements that captivated me and I decided to translate it and stage it. The play will be a realistic presentation with no form of stylisation.”

Writer, director Venkatesh Prasad

Writer, director Venkatesh Prasad | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Kannada adaptations of Anton Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard and Vijay Tendulkar’s Mitrachi Goshta (A Friend’s Story), and Kovigondu Kannadaka, based on Slawomir Mrozek’s Charlie are some of Venkatesh’s earlier theatrical productions. He is also known for the thought-provoking, Ondu Preetiya Kathe, said to be the first Kannada play exploring a lesbian love story. Venkatesh has acted in films including Signalman, Wind Seed, Daatu and Bhagavati Kaadu.

Kaakadosha has a cast that includes Shrunga, Gowri Dutt (from Abhinaya Taranga), Nandini Patwardhan (a graduate from Neenasam).

Kaakadosha will be staged on February 22 and 23, 7.30pm at Ranga Shankara. Tickets, ₹200, on BookMyShow and venue. 

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