The Tamil writer gets her due in a play by The Madras Players.
After 62 years in the business, The Madras Players enters unchartered territory with its first adaptation of short stories into a single play, in the upcoming production Chudamani. Translated from Tamil, it’s also a first for the late R Chudamani’s ( 1931-2010) prose. A versatile writer, despite having lived a seemingly reclusive life—mainly due to a physical disability—she penned over 500 novellas, and surprises with convincing portrayals of middle class orthodox characters that struggle with various social stigmas and problems (that are relevant even today).
Veteran theatre artiste, and director of the play, PC Ramakrishna pored over the English translations of 25 of her short stories (from Thanimai Thalir) that appear in the book Seeing In The Dark. Published last year, it was translated by Prabha Sridevan, a retired judge of the Madras High Court. Ramakrishna picked five from the latter and two from the original. “Prabha was kind enough to translate the extra two for us,” he says..
He then entrusted Nikhila Kesavan with writing the adaptation, but the actor-scriptwriter, despite her wealth of experience (like adaptations of Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone and Manu Joseph’s Serious Men), took around three months to complete it. With this 90-minute play, Ramakrishna hopes to encourage people to read Chudamani’s original works and also motivate more translators to discover hidden gems in regional literature that deserve an audience in the modern world.
September 23-25. At The Museum Theatre.
7.15 pm onwards. From Rs 200 on in.bookmyshow.com