MANIPAL: The Manipal Centre for Humanities (MCH) Theatre Club staged a play in Malayalam titled ‘Balyakalasakhi’ for the first time at Gangubai Hanagal Auditorium on April 11 as part of their efforts to venture into regional theatre production. The two-hour play, whose title translates to ‘Childhood Friend’ was an adaptation of a book of the same name by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer.
The play’s audience consisted of a mixed group – those who understood Malayalam as well as those who did not, but came for the experience. Revathi V, a second-year computer science engineering student from Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) said, “Actually, my friends and I came because one of our common friends from MIT is acting in the play. We understand the language but did not expect it to be so professional. It’s really good. I like the effort and the involvement of students from different sister colleges in the play.”
“They’ve done a great job. All the actors were really good. There was a bit of a lag in the middle but for an amateur directorial venture, they put up a great show,” said Reshma, freelance researcher, MAHE.
“Due to the full house, we can now say that our first attempt at a regional production has been a success. The senior who taught us direction had a vision to start a regional theatre space in MCH and we just took it up. This year we had the resources and the time of two months to invest in this. Since Manipal has a lot of vernacular people, so we wanted to do something that people identified with. Basheer as an author is known to everyone and this meant we were not restricted to a Manipal audience,” said Sania Lekshmi, director of the play.