Journey to a mystical land

Fresh outlook

Journey to a mystical land

Theatre is a form of expression like none other and making this evident was the play ‘Khasakinte Ithihasam’, directed by Deepan Srinivasan, which was staged at Christ School (ICSE) Ground recently. An independent adaptation of OV Vijayan’s novel of the same name, it was presented by K M K Smaraka Kalasamithi.

The play was a different experience as it used elements of fire, water and lights. This was also the reason why it was showed on open grounds. It starts with people walking towards the stage area with torches. 

The play is about a fictitious hamlet called Khasak. The protagonist of the play, Ravi, arrives at Khasak to run a single-teacher school. The village is rich with history and myth, and the plot unfolds various subtexts through the narrative. The protagonist leads a life influenced by lust and longing and at the same time is detached.

The story also includes many interesting characters like Madhavan Nair, the tailor; differently-abled Appukkilli; temple priest Kuttadan Poosari among others.  The way the characters fall into place to full the script is fascinating.

It moves on to how Ravi, who deals with the people of Khasak on a day to day basis, still stays away from them with a sort of philosophical dispassion. But desire overcomes Ravi and he recollects the promise he gave to Padma and leaves Khasak.

The audience was mystified and amused by the play. “It was nice to see the artistes interact with audience and  how the play was larger than life. When one reads the novel, there is a certain feel to it, which has been showcased well on stage,” says Amritha Rajan, a psychology student.

With people doing stunts on hanging ropes, food handed out to the audience (as part of the plot), interactive lines — none of the viewers budged in their seats — despite rain playing games and the play starting three hours after the scheduled time.

Joseph Mathew, another audience member, points out how the mystical characteristics of the play have been captured well.

 “Deepan has created magic, just like in his other works. The eeriness of the script has been reflected well on stage,” he says. The play also used large puppets and huge masks so as to signify the importance of certain instances in the play.

Padmini Kazhakuttam, a theatrician, says that the lighting and the open grounds added to the whole effect.

“Anyone who has read the text would know that the play would be an exciting experience. But to include such effects yet include props made out of day to day things, and see the artistes perform so close to one, in itself was very realistic. Like other viewers would agree, Deepan has a way to go about a script like none other,” adds Padmini.

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