Surasu Drama fete to begin today

The fourth Surasu Drama Festival, which opens at Town Hall in Kozhikode on Friday night, will see the premiers of two plays by two talented young playwrights.

‘Factory,’ written and directed by A. Shanthakumar, will be staged on May 12. The following day will see the first staging of ‘Violentavunna Valu’ written by Pradeep Kumar Kavunthara.

‘Factory’ is Shanthakumar’s first major work since ‘Maram Peyyunnu,’ a remarkable piece of theatre in which a crippled young man, Ajayan, acted out his own life. (He died not long after the staging.) The new play is written from a feminist perspective, says the director.

“I have borrowed some thoughts from Osho, who had spoken of how woman was seen as a factory that produces children,” says Shanthakumar. “My play is about how woman, the stronger sex in many ways including emotionally, is overpowered by man just because of his superior physical strength.”

‘Factory,’ on a more basic level, is about a factory worker and his wife. “The entire play, which lasts an hour, is a dialogue between the couple,” says Shanthakumar. “I have tried to portray how a woman is forced to play a second fiddle in a marriage even now, when women have proved they are in no way inferior to men.”

‘Violentavunna Valu,’ directed by A. Rathnakaran, tackles an entirely different issue. It is about the commercialisation of religion, according to Pradeep.

“The play’s duration is just 40 minutes and I completed just in time for the Surasu festival,” says the playwright. “The play revolves around a playwright who believes language is a tool to treat the human mind. I have tried to highlight the concept of drama therapy. The writer’s neighbour is a man who is turned into a god by others. There is also the idea of man having to protect god by forming profit-making bodies to govern places of worship.”

The drama festival opens on Friday with the staging of ‘Ayussinte Pusthakam’ directed by Suveeran. The play is an adaptation of C.V. Balakrishnan’s celebrated novel by the same name.

P. K. Ajith Kumar

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