New Delhi: A Malayalam play about a popular sea fish in Kerala bagged four trophies including best production and best script at the prestigious Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) where Heisnam Kanhailal of Manipur was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Kerala-based director Jino Joseph's play "Matthi" also won the best director and best actor in lead role (Renji Kankol).
The play is an attempt, not to live in a nostalgia which intermingle love, revolution and theatre, but to recognise the importance of a cultural unity in an ever changing world of invasion with 'matthi' meaning sardine as metaphor.
Noted Manipuri theatre personality Kanhailal was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Indian theatre. The award carries a prize money of Rs 5 lakh.
The best actress award was shared by danseuse, vocalist and actor Sanjukta Wagh for her performance in "Rage and Beyond: Irawati's Gandhari" and Swetha Shrinivas for her portrayal of Seetha in "Chitrapata".
Gopal Dutt and Shubrojyoti Barat jointly won the best actor in supporting role award for their roles in "Kaumudi" while Sowmya Jain was adjudged the best actress in supporting role for her performance in "Chitrapata".
The best ensemble award went to Ranjit Handique, Paragjyoti Mech, Jayanta Mech, Abhijit Chutiya, Nilanjan Mahanta, Dikpal Mech, Rituporna Datta, Dipak Chetry, Mintu Mech, Pankaj Neog, Anita Mech, Poli Phukon, Bornali Baruah, for the Assamese play "Fall of a King -Burha Manuhor Babe Desh Na".
Another Assamese play won the best choreography award for "Dhou... The Wave" (Seujpriya and Gunakar Dev Goswami).
The annual awards recognise theatre from across the country are are given in 14 categories.
The awards were presented on Friday night and hosted by Rajat Kapoor and Ira Dubey.
The jury comprises theatre personality Amal Allana, theatre writer and critic Anjum Katyal, theatre artist Neelam Mansingh, director-writer Ranjeet Kapoor and actor Saurabh Shukla.