Home Chennai Honour, the city’s first army-based play

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    P C Ramakrishnan’s play, Honour, gives the city a peek into army life

    FOR director P C Ramakrishnan, there are two reasons why the play Honour means a lot—it is the first time Chennai will witness an army-based play and he finishes 50 years in theatre this year. Well known for his play, Water Water, the theatre veteran is quite chuffed with this production that talks about the valour, dignity and supreme sacrifices made by our armed forces. “The story revolves around a murder that takes place in an army environment and how the situation affects the army, two families and the people involved,” begins Ramakrishnan who has also directed the play, which is written by Nandini Krishnan.

    50 and counting
    According to the director, the play might see a varied audience. “We have invited some army officials. And we hope to take this to some of the cantonments, like ones in Wellington, Pallavaram or Meenambakkam. But since it is in English, I am not sure if it will have the right reach,” he says. The play has a mix of old and new actors. While there are some well known names like Radhakrishnan, Tehzeeb Katari, Amitash Pradhan, Mohamed Yusuf, T T Srinath, Nivash G, Padma Divakaruni, the new bunch includes Santhosh S, Shankar and S Ramabadran. Speaking about his 50 years in theatre, Ramakrishnan says, “I think theatre has evolved a lot in Chennai and we at The Madras Players have started collaborating with the new bunch.” Pointing out that the next play for the theatre group, after Honour, will be in September,  he says they will collaborate with theatre group Crea Shakti for And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie.

    Army inspired
    According to Krishnan, the playwright, the play is loosely inspired by Richard North Patterson’s, In the Name of Honour. “I’ve wanted to write a play which speaks about how unfairly our army officers are treated, in terms of salary, postings and, sometimes, the unsavoury duties they’re forced to carry out. I also wanted to look at soldier-officer relations and issues like class and lineage in the army, even among officers,” she says. Having written a non-fiction book,  Krishnan is currently writing two novels. “While one is a book adaptation of a play I wrote, about consensual incest, the other is a comedy of manners centred on marriage,” she says.

    At Museum Theatre, on June 20, 21 and 22, from 7.15 pm onwards. From Rs 150. Details: 7667402888

    —Mrinalini Sundar

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