Akhila Nambiar, III Year B.A. English

On the evening of 24th September, a play titled Chudamani was staged as part of a production by The Madras Players at the Museum Theatre at Egmore, Chennai. Directed by P C Ramakrishnan, it consisted of seven short stories written by the late R Chudamani and translated by Justice Prabha Sridevan. The play was enacted by a large group of versatile and talented actors who took up more than one role, each different from the other. It was no surprise when it was said that the show had been sold out for both the days that it was being staged as the depiction was simply marvelous.

Within the 90 minute duration, the actors were successful in portraying a variety of stories, while at the same time showcasing their own unique style of acting. Each member of the cast was completely immersed in their respective characters and gave importance to every little detail. All the actors did not belong to the same age group, which was a good decision on the part of the director, as it enabled their characters to act and move on stage as they would do off stage.

In terms of stage setting, the group kept it very simple by having merely a few wooden boxes that served as a car in one story and as furniture in others. Even the props used were quite minimal, with very basic household items being used in the play. There was never a need for any change in the stage setting between scenes which helped in maintaining the continuity of the play.

A few of the stories shown on stage did break stereotypes while others did not. However, it was very realistic and the audience was able to relate to the action happening in front of them. The translated stories that were selected from the collection dealt with relevant issues that we see happening in our daily lives. At the same time, however, there were certain moments of comedy which provided a good balance to the play. To mention a few praiseworthy performances in particular, the director P C Ramakrishnan, who played the role of a blind father, executed his part perfectly. In addition, Nikhila Keshavan who played his daughter and was seen as a supporting character in most of the stories stood out with a solid performance.

All seven short stories in “Chudamani” were implemented beautifully by the incredibly talented cast along with the director who took into consideration the stage setting, the dialogue delivery and the effortless acting. The play is a must watch for people of all age groups as it offers something that everybody relates to on a daily basis.

[Photograph Source: Internet]

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