Adapted from Girish Karnad’s play, 'Broken Images', 'Anniyal' explores the pain and dilemma of identity crisis

Theatre actor Latha Venkat steps into the shoes of Anjali (Manjula in Broken Images played by Shabana Azmi and Arundhati Nag in Kannada and Hindi)
Latha Venkat in a scene from the monodrama
Latha Venkat in a scene from the monodrama

There are numerous conversations we have in our everyday life, but one of the most intriguing, rather complex conversations, we may sometimes engage in are with ourselves. They stem from the deepest corners of our being where no one is looking, or perhaps no one is allowed to look. They are ours and ours alone, and yet propel us into questioning who we are. Girish Karnad’s play, Broken Images, in English and Odakkalu Bimba in Kannada brutally explores and exposes the mess the human psyche is capable of creating. And for the first time, Theatre Marina is bringing Anniyal, a Tamil adaptation of the play. The 80-minute-long monodrama will see eminent theatre artiste Latha Venkat stepping into the shoes of Anjali (Manjula in Broken Images played by Shabana Azmi and Arundhati Nag in Kannada and Hindi).

“The Tamil script is 60 pages. It’s a conversation between two characters — the protagonist Anjali and her alter ego Aarthi on the TV screen. While practising for the role, I read the lines in two different tones to differentiate them in my mind,” says Latha.

Latha Venkat in a scene from the monodrama
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The psychological thriller sees the protagonist go through numerous emotions, which the person on screen proves and exposes. “I had to feel Anjali, the writer, as well as her inner conflicts. The image on screen is recorded, so while shooting, I had to react to the answers which will be live on stage. As an actor, this play is a lifetime experience. Any ardent stage person will want to try this. I am lucky that the universe picked me to play this role, which is happening for the first time in Tamil,” Latha says.

The Tamil play, adapted by Prasanna GR and R Giridharan, who also directed it, offers a unique, immersive experience that transcends mere storytelling. It’s a dynamic blend of live performance, visual artistry, and emotional resonance. Anniyal stimulates imagination, provokes thought, and evokes powerful emotions. It’s a classic, a thought-provoking contemporary piece, promising a journey into different worlds and perspectives.

Tickets start at Rs150.

Premier on June 21, 7.30 pm.

Regular shows on June 22, 4.30 pm & 7.30 pm.

At Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore.

Email: rupam@newindianexpress.com

X: @rupsjain

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