Block your Sunday for Showboat, a series of three plays and two mimes by theatre group Unarviyam
SATIRE, humour, suspense and guilt—are neatly packaged, as Unarviyam brings to town a mix of genres as part of their experimental theatre. Started in 2011, this theatre group of youngsters brings us three plays and two mimes this season. According to Vatsan Natarajan, from Chennai, who has directed a play and a mime for the event, the evening will split the audience into different moods. “There is Prashanth Ramasamy, who is directing a play. Then there is Karthick GJ, who is directing a mime and Karthik TMK, who is also directing a play. There are totally 13 actors, five plays, four directors, three composers and a group of production members,” he says. As a weekend finale, look out for — Cut & Dried, Saving Little Jim, Rage, Inglorious Barber and The Looter’s Looty.
Love and action
Unarviyam has more than 20 shows to their credit and Natarajan has been a part of the group right from the begining. Dabbling in plays and mimes, he says, “If I should consider writing my own script and directing, mime is more challenging. All that a word can express must be conveyed through gestures in mime, which create limitations. Sometimes one word in a play might require five different gestures in a mime. So scripting and directing a mime is more complex and meticulous,” admits the 24-year-old, who is a programmer analyst at Cognizant Technology Solutions. Though a fan of suspense and satire, Natarajan shares, “I also perform and, as an actor, I love all genres. For writing, I wish to explore others like tragedy and action,” he says.
With over 20 theatre groups in the city, a play a week is no surprise. While theatre members in the city like Krishna Kumar from Evam and P C Ramakrishnan from The Madras Players have insisted that the status of theatre in Chennai is improving, smaller groups like Unarviyam hope for a bigger audience. “There is quite a good number of people following theatre here. Every team has their own loyalists. But I feel common audiences who watch and follow all theatre performances are less. They should also try the lesser-known groups.” And who does Natarajan consider as inspiration? “Every good theatrical act I witness inspires and motivates me continuously. There are so many passionate performers around, and watching every performance is a lesson. I have of late loved the work of Evam,” he concludes.
At Music Academy on March 9, from 6 pm onwards. Tickets at Rs. 200. Details: 8939507885
— Mrinalini Sundar