returns with Under the Mangosteen Tree, a revival of stories by writer MK Basheer
It has been a decade and Chennai-based theatre group Percha��s love for VM Basheera��s works has only matured. Starting with Moonshine and Skytoffee, a 2004 play based on two of the Malayalam writera��s short love stories, the group has been giving the audience a taste of his works in regular doses. This weekend, they are ready to stage another sample of Basheera��s satire and wit with the play, Under the Mangosteen Tree.
The one-hour-50-minute show seamlessly interweaves six storiesa��Poovan Banana (Poovan Pazham), The Blue Light (Neela Velicham), Walls (Mathilukal), Voices (Shabdangal), The World Renowned Nose (Viswavikhayatamaya Mookku) and The Man (Oru Manushyan). a�?Neela Vilichama�� which is about Basheer coming to a house where a girl had committed suicide, and having conversations with hera��is the central story. The other five stories are woven into it in a non-linear fashion,a�? says director Rajiv Krishnan.
Though all the stories take place in Kerala, Krishnan says there was no effort to locate it in the state or a particular period. a�?But we do have actors sporting the mapla (Muslim) costume or a kurta with mundu, like Basheer did. Also, hits of singers KL Saigal, MS Subbulakshmi and Talat Mahmood will run in the background, as those were Basheera��s favourites,a�? he says.
The play was staged as Sangathi Arinhya (Have you heard!) several times, before it was revived last year with a new title. a�?We wanted to make it crisper. So we removed a large scene, trimmed the cast down to seven (from nine), and used six stories instead of seven,a�? he says. a�?And we named it Under the Mangosteen Tree after a festival wea��d organised for Basheera��s centenary (in 2008),a�? he signs off.
At Alliance Francaise, on April 25-26, at 3.30 pm and 7.30 pm. Rs 200. Details: eventjini.com