Thursday, August 15, 2013

Viswavikhyathamaya mookku (The World-Renowned Nose ) on 23rd August in Town Hall Ernakulum

Viswavikhyathamaya mookku (The World-Renowned Nose ) is a play in Gibberish and Malayalam, Based on the story by Vaikom Muhammed Basheer, Directed by Chandradasan & Terry Converse Performed by Lokadharmi Kochi, Kerala.

The performance of the play takes place on 23rd August at Town Hall Ernakulum, at 7.00 pm jointly organised by C-HeD and Lokadharmi.  This is the second show of this production.

mookku photo prasanth desabhimani (3)


A foolish, illiterate young man, works as a cook in a rich man's house. His only ambition is to make sure he has enough snuff to inhale. Something very strange happens to him on his 24th birthday. His nose starts to grow! Day by day, it continues to grow in length until finally it reaches his navel. People from everywhere arrive to gaze upon the extra-ordinary nose! The crowds become a nuisance for the house owner, and he is forced to fire the cook from the job. The cook sits in his hut for days without money food or to buy a pinch of snuff. The crowds keep queuing near his hut, but no one helps the pathetic young man. Finally, he gets furious and asks his mother to shut the door; so the crowd bribes his mother... Money started flowing to the mother and son. Soon they became very rich.

As the long nosed man becomes famous, politicians hatch conspiracies to capture him. The ruling party wins his loyalty by giving him a title and a gold medal. The president supports and honors him. Soon, the opposition party begins agitating; violence and riots follow; they say the nose is actually a pseudo nose made of rubber! The man was arrested by the police, and his nose examined by expert doctors. The nose is proven real and this causes him to be nominated as a Member of Parliament by the president! But the opposition parties counter this by forming a United Front, and continue their struggle. Basheer’s point is that the incessant controversy generated by the nose is selfishly used by competing parties for self-driven interests. Ultimately, the general populace is shown as more foolish than the poor, former cook ever was.

Play by Chandra and Terry Converse


Rendered in a mix of Malayalam and gibberish, the production will seek to heighten the satire ingrained in the Basheerian story by way of use of masks coupled with grotesque, swift movements in the performance idiom. The play maintains that the story is perfect for bringing the curtains down on an enriching workshop on masks. It uses the story of Basheer as the premise and a group of actors with masks to unmask the absurdity of the socio-political, cultural and media hypocrisy of contemporary society. Straddling the hilarious and the absurd, the nose story throws light on mass psychology that almost borders on nonsense.

It narrates the story of an idiotic cook finding himself, sporting a growing nose one fine morning. The nose grows exceptionally large and evokes varied feelings, from revulsion in the beginning to adulation and reverence in the end. The growing nose costs the cook his job, but the controversial olfactory organ brings him fame and celebrity status.

Dramatization of Viakom Muhammad Basheer’s famous satirical short story, using mask and gibberish creates a hilarious comedy perfect for a performance project for a workshop on masks to culminate with. In this story, Vaikom Muhammad Basheer satirically exposes the psychology of the masses that runs to nonsense. The story is about a foolish cook who is only interested in having enough food to eat and inhaling snuff, but one day starts to grow an exceptionally long nose. It grows so large, in fact, that initially those who saw it were revolted by the sight. The cook was fired from his job but ultimately because of his controversial nose he became a millionaire and a certified celebrity.

The play uses masks and gibberish, supplemented with hilarious, grotesque and fast movements in the performance language. This production is without scenery, costumes, music and facial expression (as actors will all be masked); the production is challenging for the actors as a test of their ability to communicate and sustain the interest of the spectators without such tools. Devoid of scenery, costumes, music, facial expression and the use of language, this production is challenging the actor to create, communicate and sustain the interest of the audience- an experiment in itself.

Play by Chandra and Terry Converse


Established in October 1991, Lokadharmi was started by twenty-five theatre enthusiasts and today includes a theatre training school, a repertory, and a theatre laboratory. Some of its important productions include Draupadi by Chandradasan & Sukanya Shaji, C.N.Sreekantan Nair’s Lankalakshmi, Bhasa’s Karnnabharam, William Shakespeare’s Tempest and Macbeth, K.N.Panikkar’s Poranadi, K.Damodaran’s Pattabakki, Indira Parthasarathy’s Nandan Kadha, G.Sankara Pillai’s Abhayarthikal, Dharmaveer Bharathi’s Andha Yugam, H.S.Shivaprakash’s Madhura Kandam, Bhagavadajjuka – Mathavilasam a juxtaposition of two Sanskrit comedies by Bodhayana and Mahendra Vikrama Varman and Innalathe Mazha an environmental production. Its productions have won the National as well as International acclaim for their design, direction, and acting at various multilingual theatre festivals including Bharath Rang Mahotsav at NSD New Delhi. Lokadharmi performed Euripide’s Medea at the International festival on Ancient Greek Drama in Greece in 2001, and its Karnnabharam won awards for the best play, Scenic design, and Costume design at the META festival in 2008. Lokadharmi dreams the emergence of a village theatre culture and its characteristic energy rooted in Indian ethos and tradition and depicting contemporary Indian realities.

mookku nose (10)


Chandradasan the founder and artistic director of Lokadharmi and Mazhavillu is a designer, director, actor writer and translator. He has directed about 35 plays in Malayalam, Lithuanian, Finnish, English, Sanskrit, Kannada and Tamil languages that include Egle and Cleopatra (A Lithuanian production done as part of Anima Mundi, the International Festival of Art at Lithuania) Draupadi (self), Medea (Euripides); Poranadi (K.N.Panicker); Karnnabharam (Bhasa); Lankalakshmi (CN Sreekantan Nair), Two mothers at the Realm of Death (A Finnish/Malayalam production co-directed with Tuire Hindika), Madhuve Hennu by H.S.Shivaprakash, and the children’s plays Oru Koottam Urumbukal (G. Sankara Pillai); Vishnu Maya (K.N.Panicker); Charandas Chor (Habib Tanvir), Bommanahalliyile Kinnara Yogi (self, based on the Kannada poem by Kuvempu); Chandrasekhara Kambar’s Aalibabavum 40 Thirudarkalum (in Tamil for NSD, RRC), among many others. He has participated in the International on Ancient Greece drama in Greece, 2001; in the international seminar on Ibsen at Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2006; and has also participated in many National and International Festivals in different parts of India including the Bharagam organized by NSD New Delhi. He has is the recipient of awards like Mahindra Excellence in Theatre award (META) for best play in 2008, and National awards for best play, Direction and Acting, from the Multi-lingual Theatre Festivals at Cuttack, Patna, Vizianagaram and Thiruvananthapuram. He also received the Kerala State Sangeetha Nataka Academy award for his contribution to theatre in 2004.

Play by Chandra and Terry Converse


He holds an M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Minnesota and Ph.D. in Theatre Arts from the University of California at Los Angeles. Specializing in the teaching of directing, he is the author of Directing For The Stage: A Workshop Guide Of Creative Exercises And Projects; Dr. Converse, emeritus Professor of Theatre at Washington State University, teaches all levels of Directing, Contemporary World Theatre, and Script Analysis. Productions directed by Dr. Converse include: The Elephant Man, Tales of the Lost Formicans, Death and the King’s Horseman, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, The Tempest, Dancing at Lughnasa, A Flea in Her Ear, and Equus and The Golden Age. Dr. Converse has also directed works for the Long Beach Grand Opera, the Gutherie Other Place Theatre, The Arkansas Arts Center, Cherry County Players, Peninsula Players and Theatre by the Sea. In addition to directing, Dr. Converse specializes in conducting mask characterization workshops.



Original Story –VAIKOM MUHAMMED BASHEER .Script, &Lighting –CHANDRADASAN, Stage Design – TERRY CONVERSE, Set - JOLLY ANTONY Properties-BHANUVAJANAN Music-SREEVALSAN J MENON, Music control: RAG S MADHAV, Production in charge, & Media Management: MADAN KOLAVIL, Direction – CHANDRADASAN &TERRY CONVERSE Presentation – LOKADHARMI, KOCHI, KERALA

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Friday, August 9, 2013

The stage is their world


Lokadharmi has helped generate interest in theatre.

The Hindu Lokadharmi has helped generate interest in theatre.

ORIGIN: Lokadharmi, said to be one of the oldest collective of theatre enthusiasts in Kochi, was formed in 1991. During its formative days it was known as Bhasabheri Nataka Sala. It was renamed as Lokadharmi in 1997. It is governed by a 9-member committee and is currently chaired by academician Dr. K.G. Paulose. The Lokadharmi Centre for Theatre which took off with a meagre membership of 25 has, of late, swelled to a strong team of 300 members.

ACTIVITIES: Beginning with Karnabharam(1991), its maiden play, Lokadharmi has always remained in the cultural spotlight of Kochi with successive programmes such as plays, theatre workshops and seminars. Over the years, Lokadharmi has brought alive on stage as much as 40 theatre productions. ‘Draupadi’, ‘Medea’, ‘Charandas Chor’, ‘Poranadi’ are just some of the well-known productions from the Lokadharmi repertory.

The Lokadharmi group has extensively toured India with several of its productions. It has about 500 performances to its credit. In the year 2000, Lokadharmi was invited to present its production, ‘Medea’ at a theatre festival in Greece. It has also performed at the NSD Festival in New Delhi on four different occasions. Lokadharmi is also an empanelled destination for Fulbright scholars pursuing theatre studies.

Through ‘Karnabharam’, the coveted Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) came its way in 2008 for Best Play, Best Costume Design and Best Stage Design. With it, Lokadharmi became the first regional language group to bag META accolades. “We were competing with the best talents from India and that the jury included legends like Habib Tanvir rendered a special charm to these awards,” says Prof. Chandradasan, Artistic Director of Lokadharmi.

Time and again Lokadharmi has reached out to educational institutions with a special stress on rural Kerala. It has also been conducting a weekly session on Sundays to impart theatre training to both students and adults. Lokadharmi’s regular theatre workshop for children is known as Mazhavillu. Currently, Mazhavillu is rehearsing ‘Thathamaram’ written by Chandradasan, which will be staged next month. Two more Lokadharmi productions will come alive on stage this year, one an adaption of German playwright Bertolt Brecht’s ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’, and Draupadi  at a festival in Kolkata. Also ‘Visvavikyathamaya Mookku, will be performed shortly.

IMPACT: An institution focusing on theatre, through its plays and related activities, could bring about a dramatic change in Kochi’s perception of theatre. “Lokadharmi could perhaps be credited for creating an atmosphere for theatre activities. This has inspired many individuals to look at theatre seriously. Many have chosen Lokadharmi to be their creative launch pad,” adds Prof. Chandradasan.

GETTING IN TOUCH: To learn more about Lokadharmi performances and its related activities, call 94474 14200 (Artistic Director) or for more information, log on to

Courtesy .The Hindu 09 august 2013