They braved the weather for Madumagalu

They braved the weather for Madumagalu

Drama Damsels A scene from the play, “Madhumagalu.”

In all, Madumagalu has sold 4000 tickets to audience who have travelled all the way from Karwar to Gadag, to watch the mega play.

On Friday, the play opened to a packed house at Rangayana in Mysore. And, watching this nine hour long play with four intervals was nothing less than an adventure. The play had to be halted for a while due to rain, accompanied with thunderbolts and strong gales at around 11.30 pm on Friday, just before the first interval. When the play began after a gap of an hour and half, at around 1.30 am on Saturday, the number of the audience had waned by about 50.  A businessman Mallikarjun, who had travelled from T Narasipur with 12 people in tow, felt the ‘night out’ was well worth it. A sleepoholic, Mallikarjun had his own doubts whether he would be able to sit up through the night. “When the play ended at 6.30 am, a little ahead of its schedule and with some scenes edited, We were disappointed,” he said. But the assurance by Director Basavalingaiah, that they can return to watch the ‘missing link’ on any of the show days, the audience were happy.

The play with an open end can be edited on the spot without affecting the overall picture. “Owing to sunrise and chirping of birds, the play had to be ended there,” he said.
For Tarini, daughter of Rashtrakavi Kuvempu, the play was a way of taking Kuvempu closer to the masses. “This was very effective,” she said.  Moderate seating arrangements exposed them to rain initially. When the play resumed, they were sitting on newspapers to escape the dampness. Rukmanamma (72) saw her pains and age-related discomfort disappear even as she sat watching the play through the night. “I enjoyed the play thoroughly,” she said. Arvind, Director of Jugaari - a Kannada film, said it was a ‘pathbreaking’ experiment. He would return to watch another show, he said.

Though in conventional theatre, there is a strict demarcation between the audience and actors or space of performance, Malegalalli Madumagalu broke it all. With a mix of natural elements and constructed sets, the play was a revelation of sorts to actors too.

Whether it is Dakshayani who gave up her profession as salesgirl at a superbazaar, or Rajesh Kundar a hotel owner in Udupi, or Roopa who hails from Karwar and Chidambaram from Raichur with school-boy looks, the play made them confident. “As the play progressed, we felt the audience were performers for us!” said Ramesh, who quit his job as assistant director to be part of this venture.

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