Friday Review

Nayakuralu Nagamma, a visual delight

A scene from the drama 'Nayakuralu Nagamma' staged by Satkalabharati Photo: C.V.Subrahmanyam

A scene from the drama 'Nayakuralu Nagamma' staged by Satkalabharati Photo: C.V.Subrahmanyam  

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The play ‘Nayakuralu Nagamma’ had brilliant stagecraft on display.

Artistes of Satkalabharati Hyderabad staged a play Nayakuralu Nagamma on an enthusiastic note at Kalabharati Visakhapatnam. The play on the life and works of legendary woman administrator and warrior Palanati Nagamma during 12th century politics in Andhra evoked mixed response.

Designed and presented with a brilliant stage craft, the play opened with a scene of robbery where Nagamma comes on a horse and rescues the victims. It then proceeds to unfold the various episodes in her eventful life from her childhood in Aravelli in Karimnagar district to her final battle in Palanadu and life thereafter in service of people.

Popularly perceived as Krukeshetra for Andhra clans the battle of Palnadu formed theme worthy to write about even for legendary poet Srinatha. The theme has its own charm of emotive appeal and it made this performance a big draw.

Interspersed with appealing folk tunes and commentary on unfolding events through sutradhari, the play essayed well to present its perspective of history.

The excessive gloss over the eponymous character bordering hagiography remained a bit unconvincing for it has always been contentious among historians over several aspects of history of Palanadu ranging from the origin of the rulers of Palnadu to that of redoubtable Nagamma and her noteworthy role in its administration.

Scripted by S.N. Narayana Babu, the narrative sought to profile Nagamma as virtue incarnation and in doing so it turned less than fair in portrayal of other key characters like Brahmma Naidu and his contribution to socio and reformative measures in those days when orthodoxy ruled the roost. Thus the script was exclusively select in its perspective of history leaving much to be desired. K Hanumantha Rao directed it.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 7:16:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/nayakuralu-nagamma-a-visual-delight/article8649929.ece

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