A cup of piping hot tea and a bite of crispy crunchy evening snack. No matter whichever corner of the earth a Malayali is, he can never be cured of the nostalgia the ‘chaya-kadi’ combo evokes in him. There was a time when these old tea-stalls in the countryside were the most happening forums where all things under the sun, from politics to science, were vigorously discussed. It was as if the brown frothy brew in a faded glass was some magic potion that could dramatically electrify the drinker. Another sepia-tinted image has aimless youths mooch around the place for minutes and hours on end.
The dying tokens of yore are on a path of revival and rebirth in theatre form. Touted to be a first-of-its kind in Malayalam, Soorya Krishnamoorthy is working on a unique cartoon-theatre-series ‘Chayakada Kathakal’ under the banner of Soorya Stage and Film Society. The series will have stories evolving in the backdrop of a traditional tea stall.
“The term cartoon should not be mistaken with the drawings on paper. It is a realistic cartoon series. The milieu, the tea shop, would be static and realistic stories of people will swirl around it,” says Soorya Krishnamoothy.
Experienced theatre artists are busy rehearsing for the first show scheduled to open on May 26. One show will have two stories — each of 45 minutes duration. Four stories are ready for the shows on May 26 and 27. Author M.T. Vasudevan Nair’s character Bheeman Ravunni Nair is appearing in a rehashed version and another is ‘Amma Thankamma’ a story by Krishnamoorthy himself. The renowned glutton Rappayi is the character in one of the plays. There will also be a Tagore story.
“Every story and show will carry a socially-relevant message for the audience. But we won’t scoff at anyone or personally hurt the sentiments of others and therefore it’s not devised merely for entertainment purpose,” the director explains.
A team of 10 artistes will be part of each show. The staging in an open space has a monthly recurrence. The plan is to increase the number of staging every month by two. The venue is set at Thycaud in Thiruvananthapuram to accommodate up to 300 viewers at a time....