The play Lankalakshmi is performed at Darsana Auditorium Kottayam on 29th January 2012, as part of the vilambara of ITFoK 2012, organised by Kerala Sangeet Natak Academy.
“The plot of this play is not just the frailty of a king who is an admirer of beauty. War, diplomacy, ethnic conflicts, ups and downs of ethics, etc are engrossed in it… It originated from the blood that surged from the severed breast of Soorppanakha. That river of blood is ferociously flooding down, with all its fury. Betrayal, Deceit, Destruction, and Death have taken charge of the four destinations…. Now, there remains just a single resolution….”
This play is about the anxieties and agonies of war. It can be said that war is the protagonist and antagonist of this play, and is reflected in different shades in different characters, with Ravana as the key metaphor. Death is projected in all its intensity; the death of heroes is continuously taking place, one after the other. Amidst the continuity of deaths of dear and near ones, the play envisages the plight of Ravana caught in the cross-roads of life and death, the ultimate fate of an egoist reveling in his physical and mental prowess.
The play starts when Rama and his army has crossed the sea, reached Lanka and is waiting outside the fort of Ravana; the war is imminent and near. The first act of the play portrays the internal conflicts and turbulence in the Ravana clan at the face of the war; different voices rise within the race.
"All the treasures in the three worlds should belong to Lanka," is the motive force that leads Ravana. He went after women, not just because he fancied them, but also to enrich his pedigree, to glorify Lanka. In its wake might have come, lurking shadows of crime and curse. Sita is the priceless jewel that should be part of Lanka, even if she is married to another man.
The conflict between Ravana and his brother Vibheeshana goes back to their childhood. His companionship with his uncle Suparsvan reveals the generosity of give and take, although decision-making is the prerogative of Ravana. The conversation between them is like an inner monologue. The love for his brother Kumbhakarna is another tender knot that breaks his heart. His pride in his son is a pointer to his shattered persona as he hears the death of Meghanadhan. His intimate bond with his wife Mandodari is another aspect of his noble nature. Soon the enemy enters his palace, ravishes Mandodari.
The play is designed to be an intimate experience to the audience where the acting area merges and diffuses into the audience area. The presence of Sita and Soorppanakha depicted with paintings. The throne, palace, and the mighty Himalayas, where Ravana travels are abstracted into a multilevel set painted by monotones of blue.
The music has sounds of rain, thunder, wind, birds, and animals to create the ambience of a war field surrounded by ferocious sea of blood.
The narrative of the play takes place in a three dimensional space with varying perspective. The three different narratives used simultaneously merges and juxtapose to create a more universal meaning to the whole rendering. The text written by CN Sreekantan Nair is sandwiched between the Recital of Adhyatma Ramayana written by Ezhuthachan which is based on Bhakthi and Ramayana by Kambar (rendered as Tholpavakoothu) which treats Ramayana down to earth and looks into the potentials of the text as a performance.
The Artists Participating in the show at Kottayam are, VR Selvaraj, Johny Thottunkal , Ajaikumar Thiruvankulam , Madan Kolavil, Jolly Antony , Cijin Sukumar , Shaiju T Hamza , Joshua Antony K , Adithye KN, Manosh, Kishore NK, K Viswanatha Pulavar & Group Koonathara, Shoranur, Pattanam Rasheed Prasanth Madhav, Gireesh Menon, Jenson, Jebin Jesmes, Charu Narayanan, Sukanya Shaji, Usha Shaji,Sanosh Palluruthy, Pattanam Rasheed and Arun R Kumar.
This is the Sixth performance of the production