Friday, 11 December 2015

Play on Thyagaraja; good music, average drama

When dramatist T V Varadharajan staged his version of the play on Sri Thygaraja, the famed Carnatic music composer, titled  'Saint Tygaraja' at the launch of Lartik Fine Arts' fest on the night the deluge set in in Chennai, he gave it his own shape to it.

Presenting some anecdotes from the saint composers life with background music that highlighted Thyagaraja's songs - songs which reflected the anecdote that was fleshed out on stage.

The songs and the music have been chosen and directed by Bombay Jayashri and recorded by various artistes - this part of the production was great quality.

But the anecdotal story-telling somehow does not seem to generate drama in it and each scene does not meld into the other. That evening was plagued by power cuts and hiccups had to be pardoned for this was the premiere.

In most scenes Thyagarja, played by T V Varadharajan, former TV news reader and veteran dramatist was often lost in the nook of the puja room - far away from the audience and that nook seemed to be the only space used all the time - though the composer himself must have been in prayer and music rooted to this holy space.

The drama elements were average or even lower. The music was good.

The play was to have had repeat shows that week. The deluge messed up the plans. Now, arts bodies like Bharat Kalachar are hosting the play in Dec. 2015-Jan 2016.

Hopefully, Varadharajan can tighten the play to make it engaging.

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