'Malegalalli Madumagalu' play to enthral audience again

Bengaluru, dhns: Kuvempu's magnum opus 'Malegalalli Madumagalu' will again come alive on stage in the city between December 29, 2017 and January 31, 2018.

The nine-hour play is being staged at the Kalagrama on the Bengaluru University campus. The novel, adapted to stage by poet Prof K Y Narayanaswamy, is directed by C Basavalingaiah, regional head of the National School of Drama (NSD), while Hamsalekha has scored the music. Narayanaswamy has also written the lyrics for the play.

This is the fourth edition of the stage adaptation of the play. Earlier, the shows were done Mysuru and Bengaluru. This time, the play is being staged for two reasons - to mark the golden jubilee year of Kuvempu getting Jnanapitha award and the growing demand from the audience.

Kuvempu's 1967 epic showcases the social and economic conditions that prevailed in the late 19th century in Malenadu (Western Ghats). The story revolves around several characters in the then feudal system, Heggades/Gowdas (the landlords) and their slaves belonging to different castes. The narrative travels to various locations with interlinking characters and their stories.

The seeds of the play were sown in early 2010, when Narayanaswamy took upon himself the Herculean task of adapting the classic to stage. The primary challenge was to create uniform narratives for Kuvempu's highly non-linear narrative style, he said. The adaptation resulted in a play intertwined with 36 songs.

Basavalingaiah said, "The beauty, romance and tragedies of Kuvempu's epic will unfold over four massive open stages under a star-lit night that will add to the beauty of the play.''

The play is being organised by NSD centre in collaboration with the department of Kannada and Culture, with support from the department of Information and Public Services and the Bangalore University.

As many as 70  artistes  from all south Indian states along with students of NSD, Bengaluru, will enact the play.


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