Sister act: Shreekumar Varma’s Sisters get a stage makeover by Ajit Chitturi of Thespian En
Portraying events from three different timelines, Sisters by Shreekumar Varma describes the social and political scenarios in India in different eras. And to describe that, the writer has introduced the protagonist Kittu, who meets different sets of sisters in these three different eras, where the various connotations of a ‘sister’ have also been explored. From the ’60s era of the hippies in Goa to a politically-charged Kochi in the ’80s, and finally a modern-day Mylapore, Sisters is all about Kittu’s interaction with the three sets of women. Staged by city-based theatre group Thespian En, it is an adaptation directed by Ajit Chitturi, who insists that this will be his last stage show and that he will be retiring from the theatre scene, after a span of over 30 years.
Journey of a lifetime
The playwright, Shreekumar, is the great-grandson of the 19th-century painter Raja Ravi Varma. Having known Ajit for around 20 years, he has seen many of his scripts being adapted by the latter, for example, Five. This time it’s Sisters, which has a cast comprising Gophalan Murali (who plays Kittu), and Anusha Prabhu and Pavithra Baskaran, who play the three sets of sisters. “The play has a reverse timeline, starting with a 60-year-old Kittu meeting two aged biological sisters in Mylapore, and then shifts to ’80s Kerala where he speaks with two nurses (sisters) from Kochi Medical Centre. And lastly, in the Goan timeline, he befriends two nuns from a church,” says Ajit, adding that his interactions with these characters describe the social and political scenarios of the country in the respective eras.
Age is just a number
Featuring a prologue and an epilogue, the play has costumes that represent the various timelines that it has been set in. “It is a beautifully-written script, but the main challenge was making a 20-something cast look like old people and then reverse the ageing on stage,” says Ajit, who tells us that this being his last play, the future affairs at Thespian En will be handled by the present crop of actors, led by Rajeev Anand, a veteran in the group for around 10 years.
September 7. 7 pm. Open to ages 17 and above. Entry at Rs. 200. Tickets available online