Tamil Nadu

Tamil theatre taps online patrons

YG. Mahendra

YG. Mahendra   | Photo Credit: C_V_SUBRAHMANYAM

Now Tamil theatre fans are munching popcorn watching their favourite stars seated in the comfort of their homes. Thanks to the lockdown, many theatre groups have taken their popular plays online.

“I have tied up with BookMyShow.com and starting Sunday, Andha Ezhu Naatkall will be shown online. Just like movies, there will be three shows a day at 11 a.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. for 15 days. The fee is very nominal and will help the artistes, who are without plays now. I believe in the need for paying for art. Free shows must not be encouraged,” said actor Y. Gee. Mahendra.

Actor S.Ve. Shekhar has tied up with the same site and will have shows after Independence Day. “I see this as an opportunity to reach out to the unreached audience. I have not staged plays in many places, including the U.S., Visakhapatnam, Mumbai and Hyderabad for a long time. I will be starting with Comedy Darbar,” he said.

Kalakendra.com runs one drama free every Saturday from 6.30 p.m. on YouTube, Facebook and its website while it rents Tamil dramas online. K.S. Sudhakar, founder of Kalakendra, said that he began selling drama DVDs in 2004 with actor-director Mouli’s Flight 172.

“We began having online shows some eight years ago. But over the past few months, we have witnessed increased traction. We have audiences aged 30 to 70 and 60% of them are in India. It used to be 70% from the U.S. Of course, the entire audience is Tamil speaking,” he said. They company is planning a drama week from August 14.

Universal reach

Crazy Creations Madhu Balaji said that online platforms were good since fans from all over the world were able to watch the dramas. “People have been donating for the sake of actors and technicians. We are overwhelmed by the support,” he said.

However, Mr. Mahendra said online theatre can only be a stopgap arrangement. “This cannot be the future. Live stage shows cannot be replaced. Actors improvise on the stage and enjoy interacting with audiences. This can at the most be one more platform,” he added.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2020 11:36:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-theatre-taps-online-patrons/article32269842.ece

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