Undeterred by rising prices and a decline in curiosity for theatre, D Srinivasan and T Babu’s ardour for the stage drives them to carry out free performs in public areas
D Srinivasan and his good friend T Babu recollect how they saved each paisa of their pocket cash to purchase themselves film tickets at Kennedy Theatre, R S Puram. “It was solely 55 Paisa for a ticket and Shivaji Ganesan was our hero. We’d dance when he danced and cried with him. In school, we dressed up like him and enacted scenes from his films,” remembers Srinivasan. The performing bug stayed on with them and they’re now founders of Poonguil Kalai Mandram, a theatre group that has staged greater than 50 performs. “We began in 1987 and our first play was known as Oru Vidiyalai Thedigiron. It was in regards to the lifetime of a freedom fighter and it was staged at Kalai Arangam, R S Puram,” he says.
They current a brand new play as soon as in three months. “Srinivasan is the script author and I’m the director. We’re popularly often called Poonguil Srini and Poonguil Babu after our theatre group,” Babu says.
The pair brainstorms to give you concepts and it takes Srinivasan one month to finalise the script. “My home doubles up because the workplace. We practise on weekends,” says Srinivasan. The actors have day jobs as painters, advocates, drivers and goldsmiths.
It’s not all enjoyable and video games, although they do love theatre. The primary staging of every play is nerve-racking, admits Srinivasan. “The viewers’s response will inform us if our jokes had been actually humorous or if we conveyed the story effectively.
Until the top of the play, our hearts are racing,” Babu says. Their current play Kalyana Galatta was carried out for the primary time at Gandhi Park two weeks in the past. “It’s a comedy and revolves round a lady who needs to get married. It was a terrific present and we had an excellent response from the gang.”
Talking of the unlucky demise of theatre within the metropolis, Srinivasan says, “The recognition of performs decreased as a consequence of televisions and computer systems. Auditoriums elevated their rents and lots of native theatre troupes needed to shut down. It was a troublesome time and most of the theatre artistes needed to search for different jobs. I now work as an assistant director within the movie business and Babu drives an autorickshaw.” This troublesome time impressed them into presenting Viruthukal. “It was first carried out in 1997 and has now coated 30 phases. It’s in regards to the lives of theatre artistes and is predicated on the tragic lifetime of a good friend who was an actor. Because the variety of performs decreased, he discovered it troublesome to make ends meet. He ended up committing suicide. Such instances are quite common amongst this subject,” Babu rues. Viruthukal is certainly one of their hottest performs. Most of Poonguil Kalai Mandram’s performs are staged in public areas.“We can not afford auditoriums. Our exhibits are non-ticketed and we consider that it helps to herald extra individuals. Our mission is to make stage performs well-liked once more,” explains Srinivasan. Within the final 10 years, they’ve carried out in Chennai, Neyveli, Puducherry, Tiruchi and Thanjavur. “We discovered cheaper phases there. Most of our actors are volunteers. For others, we pool in our assets to pay them,” he reveals.
Srinivasan was honoured with the title ‘Kalai Choodamani’ by the Authorities of Tamil Nadu in 2006, for his contributions to theatre . “It was a proud second and I by no means anticipated it,” he says.
The workforce has additionally finished a brief movie known as Marupakkam (The Different Aspect). It was launched on YouTube in 2019. “My expertise within the movie business helped me in its manufacturing. It was effectively acquired and now has greater than 7,600 views,” he says.
Srinivasan and Babu are actually engaged on their second quick movie. “It’s a comedy and the capturing is in progress. We’ll launch it on-line within the subsequent few months. We’ve additionally recorded a play on cyber safety for All India Radio and the primary episode was aired final Saturday.” Srinivasan speaks for Babu too when he says, “We dream about making a characteristic movie with theatre actors sooner or later”.