The rooster rises in Koothu-p-Pattarai’s Sevalin Kathai
Hariharan Ganapathy loves children’s stories as much as he loves theatre. That’s one reason why most of the plays that he has written cater mostly to kids. He recently performed a show along with Clowns Without Borders, a French humanitarian organisation that conducts shows for war-ravaged children. A theatre practitioner with city-based theatre group Koothu-p-Pattarai, he goes by the stage name of Kavin Jay Babu and has directed and performed in around 35 plays (both Tamil and English). His latest is Sevalin Kathai (The Rooster’s Tale), a Tamil solo-act play inspired by a folktale that he read when he was a kid.
“I first staged it as a 20-minute show, five years ago. I admit that the attempt was a rushed one; hence, I went back to the drawing board and extended it to a detailed 75-minute performance after that. Since I am writing, directing and performing it, I am continuously tweaking it. But the core idea has never changed,” he says, adding that he has tried to retain “the innocence and intent sans malice that is found in folktales”.
The plot is set in the fictional world of ‘Kaadho Kaadhe’ (literally Forest o Forest), and tries to offer a rhetoric on why the rooster crows every morning when the sun rises. “In the play, there’s a rooster, a king dog and the sun. When the rooster crosses paths with the king, petty situations follow, seeing which the sun decides never to rise again. Will the rooster succeed in convincing the sun to rise again? What has its crowing got to do with the situation? The answers to these questions complete the play,” says Babu, adding that he has incorporated elements from dance forms like theru koothu, silambam and devarattam. Suitable for all ages above five, the play will also keep the audience on their toes, as a lot of interaction, quizzing and games are on the cards. Up next? Shows in Pondicherry and Coimbatore, with an English version debuting in Bengaluru and Mumbai in May-June.
March 3-4. At Koothu-p-Pattarai. 5.30 pm to 7 pm.