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    Dancer Rukmini Vijayakumar brings Aung San Suu Kyi’s story on stage.

    Aung San Suu Kyi inspired a generation when she became the face of the Burmese independence struggle. Her journey from being the face of the two decade-long fight against an autocratic regime to being the first state counselor of democratic Myanmar today, earned her admirers from across the globe. Naturally, in spite of essaying the character for the first time seven years ago, actress Rukmini Vijayakumar still feels nervous to portray her on stage in the play, The Lady of Burma . Based on British playwright Richard Shannon’s play by the same name, Suu Kyi’s story—which will be presented at the end of the month at the Museum Theatre—has been directed by renowned Bengaluru-based theatre personality and actor, Prakash Belawadi. “It was initially emotionally draining more than anything else, but now she’s a part of me,” says Vijayakumar, describing her experience.
    The solo show will see the dancer explore the legendary democrat in the roles of a mother, daughter and wife—a testimony to her strength and grit. Simple lighting, no sets and the idea of space created with movement by the actor characterise the play, which has music by renowned classical singer MD Pallavi Arun. “We take our freedoms for granted. We don’t question the use and abuse of power by those in authority often enough. Rather, we are servile and fawning. That’s why this story of hope and heroism is so important to retell,” says Belawadi, who made headlines recently for his performance in the movie Airlift. The play has been staged in Bengaluru and Mumbai, and is returning to Chennai for the second time, after nearly a year.
    At the Museum Theatre, on September 30, at 7.30 pm. Tickets from `500 onwards. Details: eventjini.com

    —Lavanya Lakshminarayanan


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