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Technically outstanding

GUDIPOODI SRIHARI

The production represented one of the most colourful episodes in the `Mahabharatha'.



PERFECT SCREENPLAY `Sasirekha Parinayam' excelled for its theatrical values and trick techniques.

Malladi Venkatakrishna Sarma wrote this play more than eight decades ago. Yet it wields such power on the audience. One of 120-year-old Surabhi troupes — the Surabhi Natya Kala Mandali — staged this under the direction of Surabhi Jamuna Rayalu, herself an accomplished actress. The audience were spellbound by its appeal not only for its excellent production values but also for the technique that went into presenting a number of trick scenes on Ravindra Bharati's stage.

The play won the Golden Nandi for best production in the recent Nandi Drama festival held at Vijayawada where Jamuna Rayalu, along with the renowned make-up artiste of this Surabhi theatre, K. Kesava Rao were warmly felicitated after the show.

The 40-odd member cast included a few persons from outside the Surabhi gamut. This has been one of the trump card productions of Surabhi for generations. This play was a source of reference for the production of that great epic Maya Bazaar on screen by K.V. Reddy.

The story structure designed by the playwright has all the elements of a perfect screenplay, capable of entertaining all sections of the audience. Narada known for creating disputes, as if to satiate his hunger for quarrels for the sake of loka kalyanam, comes to Dwaraka. But Balarama insults him in his inebriated mood.

Bearing a grudge, Narada plans to create trouble in Balarama's family. He advises Revati, Balarama's wife, to get her daughter Sasirekha wed to Duryodhana's son Lakshmana, instead of Abhimanyu, Arjuna's son, with whom she is already in love.

Revathi proceeds with the idea and her husband toes her line. Now it is for Krishna to run the rest of the show taking the services of Ghatotkacha, Bhima's son, to create havoc as in Maya Bazaar. Sasirekha is lifted along with her cot and shifted to the forests where Abhimanyu lives. The play ends with their marriage. These scenes also include how Krishna and Ghatotkacha fool the Kauravas, with Ghatotkacha playing the fake bride.

Chaitanya Art Theatres organised this play. This play also won Nandi awards for the performance of S.A. Jairam Prasad as Ghatotkacha. In this production M. Lakshmana Rao played Krishna and S.A. Chandrasekhar, his brother Balarama. S. Abhiram Naidu as Abhimanyu and V. Prabhavathi as Sasirekha suited their roles.

V.V.L. Kumar played sage Narada. M. Lakshman Rao, S.A. Chandrasekhar, M. Yagnanarayana as Duryodhana, S.V. Madhava Rao as Sakuni and others were in lesser important roles. Yagnanarayana provided music with support from Nagaraju.

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