An artistic expression of protest

Creating a rainbow. — Photo: Mahesh Harilal

Creating a rainbow. — Photo: Mahesh Harilal  

THE INDIRA Priyadarshini Children's Park teemed with children on Friday evening. But the little ones were not playing here, instead they were busy staging a play, `Muktadhara.'

The play, presented by members of `Mazhavillu,' a children's theatre group, was an adaptation of one of Rabindanath Tagore's noted works.

It staged on the lines of a street-corner play.

The play staged here had little to do with the original version, which dwells on various aspects such as the dangers of sectarianism, mindless education, sacrificing of humanity at the altar of political expediency.

On the other hand, the play staged by Mazhavillu was a protest against obstructing the flow of the rivers and commercial exploitation of water resources. The court verdict allowing soft drink companies to draw water from rivers, political decision about linking the rivers, submergence of villages after the construction of dams — these were the topics that the play focussed on. In fact, a character in the play was reminiscent of Medha Patkar.

Chandradasan, theatre person and director of Lokadharmi, said in his introduction to the play: "the most important aspect of the play is that the actors are stepping beyond the security offered by the prosceniums at their schools. They are preparing to face the unexpected in an open street." True to the mode of street-corner plays, the troupe began the performance with a folk song.

C.S. Sudheer Babu has adapted the play such that it reflects life in contemporary times. The message was clear, the performance, crisp and the style, contemporary.

Fifteen children who participated in a theatre workshop led by Prof. Chandradasan at Changampuzha Park, Edappally, acted in the play.

The group will stage performances in different parts of the city in the coming days.

Anand Haridas

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