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Much ado about an address

Soorya Krishnamurthy makes his theatre debut with `Melvilasam'



IN THE EYES OF THE LAW A scene from `Melvilasam'

`Melvilasam,' (The Address) based on the all-time great Hindi play `Court Martial' by Swadesh Deepak, was staged in the city. The play marks Soorya Krishnamurthy's debut in theatre. However, the play is not a complete adaptation of the short story.

The director has incorporated into the play a few stories about the military that his friend the late Gopi Poojappura had told him.

Court martial

The play revolves around a court martial scene where Ram Chandar, a jawan, has been accused of murdering one of his senior officers and wounding the other. The court room drama brings to light the casteism and societal tension in the ranks. The play questions accepted notions of discipline and hierarchy.

The sound of the typewriting machine is present throughout the play like a background score and Krishnamurthy offers it as a tribute to Gopi Poojappura who was a typist in the Army. The play in its entirety presents dilemmas inherent in each life.

It also juxtaposes Gandhian values in a society ridden by hatred and prejudices. Lines from V. Madhusudhanan Nair's famous poem `Gandhi' are recited at the beginning and end of the play.

"The inspiration for such a venture was born out of the desire to bring realistic drama back to the stage," says Krishnamurthy.

Ammu (played by Mahalakshmi), whom Ram Chandar adopts, is a common figure in all of Krishnamurthy's works. She represents people who are torn apart in the alienated flow of time. `Melvilasam' ends with Ammu getting a new `melvilasam,' and address as the daughter of the jawan Ram Chandar.

Munshi Baiju as Colonel Surat Singh put in a masterly performance and Krishnan as Jawan Ram Chandar captivated the audience. The others in the cast include Amalraj, Gopalan and Jose P. Raphel.

LEENA CHANDRAN

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