Theatre Review

Madras to Chennai

I read about this Tamil PlayMadras to Chennai” being performed this week by Kathadi Ramamurthy, Shylaja Chetlur and others, directed by Bombay Chanakya. The tickets were by invitation only and it was sent by post by Shraddha to anyone who asked for it by phone.

Invitation for Madras To Chennai - Bombay Chanakya
Invitation for Madras To Chennai by Bombay Chanakya

Today I went for the play in Narada Gana Sabha and enjoyed it thoroughly. The story is basically of events that happen in a typical Tamil Brahmin household in Madras for last 60 years. The female lead role “Kalyani” was played by Shylaja Chetlur, who has performed it well and with elegance. As always the industry veteran Kathadi Ramamurthy performed the role natural and with ease.

I was not expecting many in the audience, but I was surprised to find the auditorium to be jam-packed. It was heartening to see those many people watching a Tamil Play and encouraging the artists. I think it is a good model by the organizers to have the costs covered by advertisements (i hope they covered) and having full audience, instead of being watched just by few paid audience (which in any day covered only portion of cost).

Madras To Chennai - Bombay Chanakya
Madras To Chennai – Bombay Chanakya

The play had some nice effects like 1) The split screen where aged Kathadi & Shylaja were on one side of the stage, and the couples younger version (flash-back) playing on the other side at the same time. 2) The exact same screen that begun the play, enacted back at the end and everyone performing both the scenes exactly the same way.

Good dialogs by Chanakya who has taken nice digs in the current prevailing corruption scene in the country.


  • shylaja chetlur

    reading your blog brought back those memories as I am preparing to go on stage with another short play day after tomorrow. thank you.

    • venkatarangan

      i am looking forward to the new play. all the best.

      you & shraddha group are doing a great work by keeping this art alive in chennai, keep up the good work.