Theatre Review

Hanuman by Shraddha

Shraddha, the Tamil theatre group have been running their new play “Hanuman” for last few days. Today was the last day in Narada Gana Sabha, Alwarpet and I didn’t miss it.

The 90 minutes play “Hanuman” is a new genre for Tamil play, its story happens in Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) from the time of a failed rocket launch (wasting Rs.400 Crores) to a successful launch of a  indigenous cryogenic rocket. Hanuman was written and directed by V. Sreevathson, who also has played the main character of ISRO Chairman Dr.Lakshman.

The reusable Rocket (Hanuman) was  build by sheer determination of the scientists after months of hard work  against all odds. In between the story shows the sorry state of our civilian rulers who manage ISRO and other scientific efforts. The play handles ever contemporary theme on the need for space research in a country like India and role for believing in GOD by scientists. As Director V. Sreevathson mentions in the introduction the play borrows heavily from writings of Vikram Sarabhai and Satish Dhawan, both legends of Indian space program.

I liked the way the Director has portrayed the political leaders, instead of showing their inept & corrupt side only, the Director has shown both sides of them. The Central Minister for science  was played brilliantly by V. Sridhar, though he doesn’t understand the science behind it (he need not) when he is pushed to decision making he sticks with the scientists risking his own political future. Similarly the one man commission chairman not only wastes time by preparing a report for hundreds of pages but works hard to expose foreign treachery.

Image courtesy: The Hindu

Image courtesy: The Hindu

Karthik Bhatt has played a small but negative role. Preethi Varma plays a scientist  and an expecting mother role, hers was the only female character in the play and I was surprised to learn from facebook timeline this was Preethi’s debut performance. Good Job.

Shraddha have taken great pains to add special effects to the play, we see a small drone flown across the auditorium and return to stage to great applause of the audience. The glass topped ISRO control room created on stage is a great work on stage I have seen in the recent years, it even had a Star Trek like Live Dashboard to see the Rocket launch!. I missed taking my son to it, but I feel the 11 year old would have found dialogues to have heavy for his interest.

Dr.Lakshman please close your ears, GOD bless Shraddha and its energetic artists.

hanuman

Hanuman a play by Shraddha. Image courtesy http://tamil.jillmore.com