Karnad`s lesser-known play gets a Malayalam version

Updated: Aug 09, 2013, 14:40 PM IST

Karnad`s lesser-known play gets a Malayalam version

Thiruvananthapuram: Jnanpith-winning playwright and actor Girish Karnad`s critically acclaimed play `Anju Mallige`, which shocked the traditional audience in the late 1970s by narrating the story of a complex relationship between a brother and sister, is all set to be recreated in Malayalam.

A city-based upcoming theatre group is bringing out the Kannada play, one of the early works of the writer, under the title `Kalabhedam`.

`Anju Mallige` is considered significant by critics as it is one of the very few plays by Karnad narrated in the settings of real life. It is told completely outside the framework of his usual themes of history, folklore and myth.

Artistes of `Apt`, the theatre group producing the play in Malayalam, said though there are many celebrated works by Karnad, they wanted to do this one just to showcase his expertise in portraying the psychological complexities of characters and non-linear narrative skills before the audience.

Smitha Ambu, who translated the play into Malayalam from Kannada and appears as its central character Yamini, said the work had been staged very rarely in India.

"People generally speak much about Karnad`s works like `Hayavadana`, `Tughalak` or `Taledanda`. But many of them are not aware of `Anju Mallige`, one of his early plays. It has been staged rarely in India. I think its emotional interplay and complexities of characters scared people away from it," Smitha said.

She said the reason for selecting the work was not that it handled a very sensitive subject like incest but because of the complexity and depth of the characters and the many underlying turmoils of the human mind and relationships.