Different persons, diverse characters and varied perspectives, they all share one name – Ammu. On September 21, they unite for the inaugural event of Soorya Festival. Ammu, a recurring name in frontman Soorya Krishnamoorthy’s plays, light and sound shows and stage shows will make the 40th anniversary of the prestigious cultural festival way too special. Women who were Ammu are either familiar names on big and small screens or theatre circuit. The occasion brings together 15 of them, a series that started with actor/comedienne Manju Pillai to theatre artiste Thulasi.
“Ammu is an intentional inclusion to voice my views. On stage, they stand for me or represent anyone with a wailing heart,” says Krishnamoorthy.
Manju started her acting career as Ammu in the light and sound show Sthreeparvam. The latest, Thulasi, is the main character in the play Kalathil Padmini Makal Ammu staged at the monthly theatre fest of Soorya. Cine actors Sreelakshmi, Mahalakshmi, Hima Shankar Sheematty, Anitha have later become faces for the character. State award-winning actor Sreekutty was another.
A little known fact becomes news this time. His civil servant daughter Seetha Krishnamoorthy had a stint as an actor. She got initiated to stage through the light and sound show Deepashikha and appeared for another, Anjali. She bore the character name for both shows. Other actors Kavitha and Vishnupriya are active theatre persons. Gopika Suresh and Aleesha Naureen pursue their studies in engineering and medicine respectively.
With this programme, the usual beginning of Soorya Festival is in for a twist. The conclusion also has a novelty. The special show being conducted this time is a tribute to author O. Chandu Menon’s legendary novel Indulekha. Chaithanya Unni, daughter of Menon’s great granddaughter Jyothy, has devised a unique tribute to her forefather in a dance form. A medico in Australia, her performance is slated for January 11 at the venue set in Government School in Attakulangara.
As the festival celebrates its 40th anniversary, Soorya stands tall as a huge network with chapters across 38 countries and 60 centres in India. The 111-day fest is branched into festivals celebrating film, dance and music, theatre, concert, painting and photography. Talk festivals, workshops, and a dedicated film screening session to commemorate actor Om Puri form the rest. Many renowned artistes across the country would perform at the fest.