A half-hearted Telugu play at QAB fest

A half-hearted Telugu play at QAB fest

The ninth edition of Qadir Ali Baig (QAB) Theatre Festival is a 10-day event where opportunities are given to many theatre and dance groups to...

The ninth edition of Qadir Ali Baig (QAB) Theatre Festival is a 10-day event where opportunities are given to many theatre and dance groups to showcase their meritorious contribution to their fields. On the fourth day, Rallapalli Theatre Group presented an hour-long play titled ‘Sundari Sundarudu’. It was a hilarious play depicting the love story of cowherd families of Srikakulam.

The story revolves around two families, one is headed by Veeraswamy (Vizag Prasad) who sells buffalo milk, and the other is headed by Bhimaraju (Rallapalli) who sells cow milk. Another character is an eunuch named Ammathalligadu who is Bhimaraju’s sister’s son (Tejomurthula Murali). He assists the family members. It is this character that connects the story’s progress who throws in a suggestion that Venkata Seetha Mahalakshmi (Bhimaraju’s daughter), who is also called Seetha Lakshmi, be married to Bhimaraju.

‘Sundari Sundarudu' play staged by Rallapalli Theatre Group

During the play, there were dialogues between Seetha Lakshmi and Bhimaraju about the values of buffalo and cow milk. The fact that cow has its own value does not relish Seetha Lakshmi. In the process, Mahalakshmi quarrels and put forth forcible arguments. Veeraswamy always supports his daughter in the debacle of arguments. Bhimaraju is irritated but his attempts go in vain before Mahalakshmi. She acts as a deity Nookalamma, uttering vociferous statements in support of her views, terrifying Bhimaraju. To kindle humour, poems of Vemana and ‘Gangigovupaalu Garitadainanu Chaalu’ were rendered by the duo, cajoling each other with names.

Songs of yesteryear “Choodu Pinnemma” and “Kalavara Maye Madiloh” also added humour with Krishna’s episode with Gopikas being touched upon in their discussion. In the end, the play ends on a happy note with the wedding of the duo.

Actors Rallapalli and Vizag Prasad are versatile. Padma Priya and Tejomurthula Murali are promising stage actors. The presentation was good in all respects but it could not generate any applause from the thin audience--the reason being it is an outdated subject today. As is mentioned by the actors, this play is based on ‘A Marriage Proposal’, a Russian play written by Anton Chekhov. It was translated into Telugu by late Attili Krishna Rao and was directed by Rallapalli. The background score was rendered by Anand and Trinath.

When theatre personalities are invited to present a play on par with the standards of world theatre, it is the bound duty of every person to keep the Telugu theatre potentiality par excellence. This play was a half-hearted presentation due to paucity of time. In addition, this was the first time a Telugu play was staged at the festival. If that be the case, they ought to have done their homework to bring out the best. This review should be taken in the right spirit.

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