Michael Muthu’s musical play featuring ‘The Mellow Circle’ is set to bring in Christmas to the city
Interestingly, the storyline of the play is very similar to that of The Mellow Circle’s journey
It’s December, that time of the year when carols fill our playlist as we await Christmas, a festival of fervor and melodies. Well, Chennai is ready to bring in the season with The Magic Chorale, a dramatic Christmas musical that will be staged this Sunday.
Written and director by theatre personality and actor Michael Muthu, the play will feature well-known choir group The Mellow Circle. Ahead of the show, we speak to Michael about the musical that is set in the year 2012. “I had no particular reason to set the story 10 years ago. It just went with the flow of the writing. Basically what happened was, we didn’t have a play to do this year, so I volunteered to write one. And when I sat to think what should I write, it just struck me – why not write a play about a choir? It’s a Christmas play, yes, but centred on a choir named The Magic Chorale,” he tells us.
Interestingly, the storyline is very similar to that of The Mellow Circle’s journey. This choir group based in Chennai looks after 18 kids who have AIDS. They have a little home for them called Prathyasha. In order to raise money for the home, this group has been doing a Christmas play every year for the past 23 years. Of course, they have other methods of funding, but raising money for the children with AIDS through a Christmas play is something they have been doing since the year 2000.
“This is their 23rd production, and these are the guys who usually bring in the Christmas in the city. They usually do the play in the last week of November, but this time around, since they couldn’t manage to get the last week of November, it moved to first week of December. Also, the play is usually held at the museum theatre with five shows as it offers occupancy of only 500 people. This year though, we are having just one show because the venue can accommodate a lot more people,” Michael shares.
The plot revolves around a group of people who participate in a choir competition, the troubles they get into with a rival choir group that tries its best to ensure The Magic Chorale loses the competition. But despite all the hiccups, the group emerges as the winner. Perhaps, it touches upon the theme that all good things find a good ending because similar to the Mellow Circle who has sung all the carols for the play, The Magic Chorale looks after an orphanage, and the story also depicts the struggle they go through to fund the orphanage.
Isn’t it like a play within a play, we ask Michael. “The story does reflect The Mellow Circle’s journey, but I don’t want to give away too much, you know,” he smiles.
Michael admits writing and directing this two hours long musical piece has kept him busy. His last stage show was in August with two short plays. “After this, there isn’t much till the year end. But next year, something will come up,” he tells us.