Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Tuesday, Dec 21, 2010
ePaper | Mobile/PDA Version
Google



Kerala
News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary |

Kerala Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Julius Caesar on the Kathakali stage



Quest for novelty:‘Julius Ceasar' being staged as Kathakali in Palakkad at a programme organised by the Palakkad Kathakali Trust.

Kathakali plays are usually based on stories from the Indian epics of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. But in the recent past, stories from many new areas have been tried with varying levels of success. Greek tragedies such as Oedipus and Shakespearian plays such as King Lear, Othello and Julius Caesar are part of these trials. Even Biblical episodes find favour with the audience these days. The Kathakali version of Julius Caesar, written by Sadanam Harikumar and choreographed by a Sadanam team led by him, was staged for the Palakkad Kathakali Trust on Saturday as part of their effort to encourage novelty in presentation of Kathakali.

This was well received, fully justifying the good reviews it got in the past, said E. Somapalan, a Kathakali critic. The play started with Julius Caesar greeting Brutus, Mark Antony and others, on his return from successful campaigns. After this he retires, but not before expressing his aversion for Cassius. Cunning Cassius, together with Casca and Cinna, succeeds in convincing a righteous Brutus that Julius will be a dictator and it is necessary for the country to kill him before he is enthroned. They decide to do away with him.

Portia, wife of Brutus, questions in futile about the strange behaviour of her husband. Kalpurnia, wife of Caesar, has a nightmare that he has a bloody end bitten by snakes, and requests him not to go for his installation on that day.

Goaded by Casca and afraid of being called a coward, Caesar goes to the ceremony and is stabbed first by Cinna followed by Casca, Cassius and finally Brutus. He falls dead expressing utter disbelief that even Brutus does it. Brutus prevents Cassius from murdering Mark Antony who comes running to the scene. Antony laments that he lost his best friend and tells the public that such a good ruler, who bequeathed all gains from the conquests to them, has been murdered.

He urges the furious public to take revenge and arms them for the purpose. Fugitive conspirators escape to the mountains. Cassius spurns request for funds from Brutus, but finally concedes, repairing their damaged relation. Antony and Octavius come in search of them and there is a war of words and challenges. They decide to meet in the battlefield. Cinna, with Casca in hiding, attacks Antony and Octavius.

They are caught and tied up. Watching this from his perch and being in a hopeless situation, Cassius commits suicide by the same sword used for stabbing Caesar. Brutus enters the scene and seeing the event, follows suit, ending the play. New techniques, stagecraft, costume and make-up have been used as welcome innovations. Songs are well written in excellent language. Names of the characters have been Indianised, perhaps for the sake of songs, but it is confusing, Mr. Somapalan says.

Harikumar as Caesar, Manikantan as Brutus, Narippatta Narayanan Namboodiri as Cassius, Balakrishnan as Antony, Vignesh as Casca, Mohanan as Octavius, Vishnuprasad as Cinna, Sreenath as Kalpurnia and Suresh as Portia gave good performances, said P.K. Narayanan of the trust. Sivadasan and Jyothishbabu rendered soulful music with ‘Bhava.” Ramakrishnan on the chenda and Devadas on the maddalam did a wonderful job.

G. Prabhakaran

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



Kerala

News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |


News Update



The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Ergo | Home |

Copyright 2010, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu