They say the pen is mightier than the sword, the scriptwriter duo; Mr. Kumaravel and Mrs. Deepika Kumaravel deserve special mention for managing to condense nearly a million verses into a hundred minute play.
The background score! A perfect blend of classical beats with a hint of modernism was truly a brilliant product of the teamwork of our music directors, Mr. Aditya, Mr. Tapass Naresh, Mr. Vikram and Mr. Nithin Subramanian.
The assistant direction and rehearsal direction were
taken care of completely by Mr.Nishanth Pio and
Mr.Sriram Natrajan who helped us step into the shoes of our characters and truly enter the world of the Mahabharath.
Last, but certainly not least! Our dear Amudha ma’am, a guiding force so powerful, she has encouraged us right from the beginning to give our best shot, come rain or shine. The wonderful rich robes, all a product of her creativity ensured that we played our roles to perfection. Our amazing Bharati ma’am without whose support, we wouldn’t have gotten so far; our wonderful teachers, those who were with us right from the beginning and those in-charge of us on the days of the shows, their dedication is definitely a pointer to all of us.
Not to forget all the elements that helped our play reach, if not surpass, the standards set by our previous productions; the recording by Rajiv Menon studios, lights by Mr.Lawrence and Mr.Nishanth Pio, the make-up artists, tailors and THE CAST!!! Four months of spending most of our waking hours in each other's company, learning, laughing, and enjoying ourselves thoroughly in the process paid off in the end.
Mrs. Meena Muthiah
This letter is about KURUKSHETRA, by Chettinad Players.
I wish to place on record my amazed appreciation and awe, as one of the most spectacular presentation of theatre that I have ever witnessed in all my 50 years of creativity! The grandeur, the attention to detail, the authenticity, the mesmerizing musical score, the brilliant dialogues and their rendering, the almost flawless performances of all the artistes, and technicians were almost international class!
It is only in the years between five and fifteen that a child searches to find his or her artistic potential and passions. Chettinad can take full credit for identifying and encouraging the artistic and creative talents of its very gifted students. If more school were to follow your example, the cultural and artistic wealth of this wonderful land of ours will be proudly preserved and cherished for posterity!
Truly Chettinad can be considered to be the cradle – if not the womb – of theatre rebirth in Tamilnadu. Because last evening I saw hope. I witnessed with my own amazed eyes the renaissance and resurgence of Tamil theater!
If this is the sanctity and sincerity with which you encourage what is normally considered an extracurricular activity, I can fully imagine and understand how comprehensive, complete and committed are the educational and cultural standards that your institution is renowned for! My wishes and blessings to all concerned, including your versatile and noble self, both for the vision and the subject chosen.
Thota Tharani is a gifted genius, and my applause to you, for giving him the canvas to express his repertoire. He has inspired with his incredible creation, each and every aspect of theater to come up to his exacting standards! That is a victory for the whole troupe and the creators behind this magnum opus. This is pure theater within all its permitted liberties and licenses. This is pure story telling with all its agonies and ecstasies. This is pure magic.
Special mention to your dialogue writer Kumaravel and your director Jayakumar. These names will be heard and spoken off with respect and admiration in the world of creativity in the years to come as they rightly should be, if only for their stamp of intelligence, that I witnessed in every scene, every act, indeed every minute of ‘Kurukeshetra’!
A few words about the director Mr.Jayakumar would express my admiration adequately. May be in another birth he could have been the great Vysa himself, may be in another generation he could have been the legendry S.S. Vasan, for such is the magnificence of his imagination, such is the power of his artistic creativity and commitment!
The characters were familiar but the interpretation enchanting. Every artiste was perfectly cast and every role was precisely performed, with the swashbuckling Duriyodhana of the flashing eyes and flailing arms, and the serene Krishna with the implied mischief, and impeccable divinity down to his graceful walk, were simply outstanding. If Adithya Madhavan and Harish, were to decide to take up acting as a career, they will make waves in the oceans of histrionics, believe me!
The walk, the posture, the turn, the stop, the curl of the lips, the derision, the suppressed anger, the explosive rage, the diffidence, the embarrassed affection, the regret, the laughter, the bravado, the bravery, the arrogance, the agony, as in the defeat and in his death – Duriyodhana would have made even his creator Vysa weep in joy, for Adithya made even adharma heroic and poignant and the stuff that theatrical legends are made of!
The carriage, the elegance, the smile both in the eyes and in the lips, the composure, the stature, the implied unseen halo and aura of divinity that Harish carried in his performance of Krishna, would have made even the great N. T. Rama Rao salute him in respect! As was the confidence, and maturity of the artistes who played Vysa, Karna, Draupathi and even the cutest of ‘the story is OVER’ Vinayaga!
The sounds, the uncomplicated period costumes, the mixing, the lighting with the play of symbolic darkness and shade were incredibly real, uplifting and inspiring!
The choreographed movements even down the steps, the near perfect lip sync, the rhythm, the pauses, the perfect posturing, the arrangement of artistes without overlap, the exits and the lighting, fast scene change entries, the war chants, the suppressed violence amidst the submerged voice of reason were all unwritten yet conveyed, were unsaid yet heard loud and clear. If this is not emotion translated, if this is not passion portrayed, then I don’t know what is!
The energy, the speed the regality were so synchronized that no words would suffice to praise the ingredients like music, lighting, special effects, dialogue, sound, the mixing of all these and the incredible faith, control and confidence that the team has over what are essentially amateurs performing on a par, that would put most so-called professionals to shame!
KURUKSHETRA was a hundred minds with one thought! It was a hundred hearts with one beat. It was hundred people with one focus. It was purest form of THEATER!
To put it in one sentence, it was simply a visual ecstasy, simply a spell binding feast. Simply a pure, sacred holy prayer!
My thanks and gratitude for a memorable 100 mints. Will remain in my memory for the rest of my life.