Large Theatre

THELLO

AS A COLLECTIVE(Before agam was born)

Othello
Othello

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somu2
somu2

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O
O

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Othello
Othello

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details

 

Goodman Arts Centre

Fri, 19  Sep - Sun, 21 Sep 2013

Presented in Tamil with English Surtitles
Duration - Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes with 15min interval

SYNOPSIS

 

The Moor general Othello makes an enemy of his ensign Iago when he promotes the younger Cassio over him. Iago vows revenge and schemes to make Othello believe his new bride, the fiar Desdemona, has been unfaithful to him. A Tale of ambition, envy, treachery, and eventually murder, Othello is one of Shakespeare’s finest tragedies. Othello, the Fall of a Warrior (in Tamil) is a collaborative effort of several passionate theatre enthusiasts that explores the love, betrayal, vengeance, jealousy and politics based on a Moorish general named Othello; his wife, Desdemona; his lieutenant, Casio; and his trusted ensign, Iago. This version with its contemporary twist promises a thrilling time for our Singapore audiences.

Written in the same period as Hamlet (1600), King Lear (1604–5), Macbeth (1606), and Antony and Cleopatra (1606–7), Shakespeare’s Othello is set against the 16th century war between Venice and Turkey. While the theme of kingship and war is a common thread through many of his plays, one of the central notions in Othello is the delicate understanding of moral complexity. For instance, evil is not horrifying but instead enters into our daily lives in an unassuming manner much like how Iago manipulates Othello and other various situations. This larger postmodernist questioning of morality finds a focal point through the specific lives of the Moor, Desdemona, ensign and others

key creative personnel

 

Producer and Director

Playwright

Assistant Director

Publicity

Marketing

Set design

Lighting design

Original BGM

Costume design

Make up design

Production Management

Stage management

Surtitles

Front of house

Cast

Subramanian Ganesh

Soundrarajan Jeeva

Sashirekka Rountan

James Kumar

Sree Ganesh

Elaya Raja, Krishna,

Sivakangai, Uma

Hong Beng, Prabhu

Divine Sutra

Pathma Sunthari

Jamuna and Team

Nallu Dhinakaran

Sherene Jeevitha,

Sophia, Vijay

Nallu

Kavitha and Lavaniah

Mohan as Othello

Karthikeyan Somasundram

Re Somasundram

Gangka Periyasamy

Mohammad Shafie

Kishore Kumaran

Gayathri Segaran

Mohammad Amin

Saleem Hadi

Siva Kuma

Ranjini Ganapathy

TEASER AND TRAILER VIDEOS

 

OFFICIAL TEASER #1

OFFICIAL TEASER #2

OFFICIAL TRAILER #1

GALLERY

 

PROGRAMME BOOKLET

 

PRESS AND NEWS

 

MEDIACORP TAMIL NEWS COVERAGE 

EVENT COVERAGE IN SPH TAMIL MURASU On 19 SEPTEMBER 2013

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reviews

 

AUDIENCE RAVES 

I first read Othello when I was around 17.  I had been introduced to Shakespeare a few years earlier as part of the literature syllabus, and grew to enjoy his works so much that I ended up reading and watching performances of many of his plays.  Part of the reason that Shakespeare’s plays remain popular some 400 hundred years after they were written is because they deal with themes that are universal. I was fascinated when Mr Subramaniam Ganesh informed me about the production of Othello in Tamil.  I was also touched to hear that this was not a formal or established group that was performing, but rather it was a collaborative effort by local theatre enthusiasts, including both professionals and amateurs. Mr Soundrarajan embarked on the challenging task of writing the script in Tamil – and the translation of this masterpiece to Tamil is in itself a significant literary effort.  I understand that the performance will be adopting a black box concept and doing away with period costumes – this should be an interesting effort to bring the play close to the audience, while transporting it through time and language boundaries as well. I am also impressed with the star-studded cast, including celebrities from Vasantham, joining in this effort.  I thoroughly enjoyed  their interpretation of the classical Shakespearean characters. Finally, I should also thank the team for honouring the Indian Cultural Medallion winners on the opening night.  Each of these winners has made a significant contribution to Singapore’s cultural scene over the decades, and it is great to commemorate their achievements at this event.

 

Vikram Nair, Member of Paliament, Sembawang GRC 

 

I hereby humbly plead you youngsters to continue staging plays like this in future. Good Tamil that made me tear.

 

P Krishnan, Cultural medallion recipient for literary arts

 

Translating Shakepeare is Challenging enough.. but putiing him on Stage is even more Challenging. You did a fantastic job by not compromising the emotions even by a bit. I thoroughly enjoyed a play after such a long time. Thank you for this opportunity to see this epic come to live.

 

Emeritus Professor Edwin Nadason Thumboo, First Cultural medallion recipient for literary arts

et me congratulate you and team for taking the brave step to translate Othello in Tamil and  stage the play successfully. I am glad that  you didn't wait to stage this play despite the challenges you must have had.  It is a not an easy task to translate the work of the Bard of Avon in Tamil and it is definitely not easy for the actors to deliver the dialogues in literary Tamil. I say this because most of them learnt Tamil as a second language. But the cast and crew were brilliant. Let your light shine forth!

 

Shanthini Muthaiyya, TV Producer

 

It was an absolutely outstanding production given that it is a pioneering effort. I look forward to your future productions!

 

Arun Mahizhnan, Adjunct Professor, Wee Kim Wee school of Communication & Information NTU

 

I took time to share my thoughts with many of the fellow educators.  The “Othello” play was rendered with profound effort and commitment.  It was such a flawless production. It was truly beyond my expectations, in terms of scripting, performance.  The clear diction and speech delivery by all cast, particularly the two main casts are worthy of mention.  Well done!  Looking forward more great performance from the team. 

 

T Venugobal, Head/Tamil Language Unit, Curriculum Planning and Development Division

 

Ganesh, I must say that the last scene was my favourite ..According to Bharatha muni who wrote Natya sastra[treatise of drama, dance music] to enact death on stage is not accepted,because audience will leave the theatre with a negative sad note.othello ended with more than one death on stage?still i was so moved by the acting and the energy created by the actors.....looking forward for more tamil dramas..my wishes and prayers to all for keeping our language and culture alive....all the hard work pays at the end......satisfaction.....

 

Santha Bhasker, Artistic Director, Bhaskers academy of fine arts, Cultural medallion recipient

 

Hi Ganesh, Othello was brilliantly executed tonight. A lot of hard work and team work has gone into it. God bless.

 

Ram Murugase, TV Producer

 

Hi Ganesh, thank you for a lovely evening. It was an honour to witness such a ground-breaking show. Please convey my congratulations to the team. I saw a group of very dedicated people, from the front-of-house to the production and the performers themselves. Kudos especially to you and to the writer who adapted the play. Thank you again. Best wishes, haresh.

 

Haresh Sharma, The necessary stage, resident playwright

 

Iago, i have fallen in love with you all over again..!! And the rest of the cast amazing job!! OTHELLO was awesome!!

Anuradha Mathews, Arts supporter

Was a beautiful work, director congratulations.. Beautiful script. Have been awhile since i have heard tamil in this quality! really, splendid! :)))

 

Vimala Velu, Ms Vasantham

OTHELLO - I have watched may Tamil plays but this was the BEST! An outstanding cast of Mohan, Karthikeyan SomasundaramGayathri Segaran, Somu Uncle, Saleem, Amin, Kishore, Shafie & many others. A classy translation of Shakespeare's classic by Soundrarajan Jeeva. A Splendid captain, Subramanian Ganesh, led the team assisted by Sashirekka Rountan. 6 months of hard work was well reflected in their crisp & impeccable performance. I could fine absolutely no flaws or improvements. I loved every dialogue & every scene. I loved it as it was. Rare but true. This team of theatre enthusiasts have helped set a new benchmark for Tamil theatre in Singapore. Kudos guys! Hats off to each and every member of this amazing team. Its time to move to the Esplanade & tour internationally!! Or maybe even a movie!!!

 

J K Saravana, TV Producer

 

The guys were really awesome.. with more support from the older generation like Mr Somasundaram around, the younger ones can do exploits… Hats off to Mr Soundararajan for the wonderful, delicate and unimaginable scripting of the whole play !

 

Wilson, Tamil Murasu reporter

Tonight, Shakespeare came alive brilliantly in the Tamil language with "OTHELLO - The Fall of A Warrior". Directed by Subramanian Ganesh, Written by Soundrarajan Jeeva and Presented by 'A Group of Tamil Theatre Enthusiasts'.

Chandran, Act 3

 

Every single soul involved in the play should be recognized for their efforts and passion 

 

Visha, Arts enthusiast

Awesome Work, Subramanian Ganesh & Team! Soundrarajan Jeeva your script was the main reason why we witnessed magic on stage! Heartfelt congrats to All!

 

Kavitha, Teacher

 

Othello.. அன்பால சேர்ந்த கூட்டம்.. என்றைக்கும் தோற்பது இயலாத ஒன்று... Subramanian Ganesh: please don't stop.... Karthikeyan Somasundaram: what more to say?? And ஒthello is prove that passion outweighs anything and everything.. What's done with passion, will surpass all odds.. God bless!! And thanks for giving me the chance to witness brilliance..

 

Kumaravelu, Ardent supporter of Tamil theatre

 

 

Hats off to the team from othello play.. mind blowing performances. . Great work guys !!!. Soundrarajan Jeeva Subramanian Ganesh Karthikeyan SomasundaramMohan Ricky Saleem Hadi and the rest. . I can only protrait them as the real characters. Kishore role was really outstanding. Congrats guys

 

Yuganesh, Theatre practitioner

 

Ganesh, congratulations on othello! It was Gd and def an awesome attempt. I hope it gets showcased on a bigger scale in future! I know sponsorship matters but do count me in cz I'd love to help to my best level at least in donation

 

Puvanes Sandirasekaran, Lawyer

 

Ganesh, Othello was a mind blowing yet a brilliant piece. Truly enjoyed it. Kudos to the team

 

Thrishanthini Gopal, Assistant TV producer

 

Amazing acting, beautifully scripted, phenomenal costumes, music, sets & lighting and most importantly great direction. OTHELLO, born to the passion of theater enthusiasts, was simply AWESOME. Subramanian Ganesh, the Director, hats off dude. Sashirekka Rountan, Asst. Director,Well done babes! Mama Soundrarajan Jeeva, Kick ass script! Kishore KumaranGayathri Segaran, Mohan, Uncle Somasundaram, the artistes who shone for me, impeccable acting. And the STAR of the night, Karthikeyan Somasundaram. Mind blowing performance. Karthi, 5 words - Don't ever stop doing theatre. So if you haven't gotten your ticket for Othello, you are missing out an amazing play.

Khomala Lea, TV Producer

 

Was my first time seeing a Shakespeare play...was afraid that I wouldn't understand..but managed to follow...was an interesting experience...keep up the good work

 

Bavani Viswalingam, Doctor and classical dancer

 

Othello a great play, great cast n direction. Well done people n thanx to director Subramanian Ganesh n Asst director Sashirekka Rountan. Well Done

 

Vijaya ramasamy, Tamil theatre supporter

 

Excellent job done by Subramanian Ganesh and team. Othello, Iago Karthikeyan Somasundaram, Roderigo, Cassio, Emilia, Brabanthio Siva Kuma & others with Uncle Re Somasundaram! Kudos to all of you!! Am so proud and happy that all these young ones have given us hope!!! They can make others to fall in love with Tamil:)

 

Vijayabarathi, Writer, Tamil teacher

 

 Ganesh has done a fabulous job! It's not an easy feat to direct Shakespearean theatre and do a good job with it. 

 

Dr Anitha Devi, NIE Lecturer

 

Very informative play, very proud of the team

 

 Kamalam Devi, theatre veteran

 

அற்புதமான நடிப்பு Desdemona. கதாபாத்திரமாகவே மாறிவிட்டாய். கண்ணீர் விட்டு அழுதபோது, உள்ளம் நெகிழ்ந்துவிட்டது. தெளிவான உச்சரிப்புடனும் உணர்ச்சிப்பெருக்குடனும் பேசியபோது, தமிழின் அழகு வெளிப்பட்டதுஷேக்ஸ்பியர் நாடகத்தைப் பார்த்திருந்தால், அவரே உங்கள் ஒவ்வொருவரின் அர்ப்பணிப்பை எண்ணிப் பிரமித்திருப்பார். ஒவ்வொருவரின் வியர்வைத்துளிகளூம் நாடகத்தின் வெற்றிக்கு வழி வகுத்தன. காட்சிக்கு ஏற்றவாறு அரங்க அமைப்பைப் பயன்படுத்தியவிதம் பாராட்டுக்குரியது. இவ்வமைப்பை உருவாக்கியவர்களைப் பாராட்டியே தீரவேண்டும். இதனைத் திறம்படப் பயன்படுத்திய இயக்குநரும் பாராட்டுக்குரியவரே. காட்சிகளை மேலும் மெருகேற்றியது ஒளி, ஒலி அமைப்பு. எவ்விதத் தடையுமில்லாமல் சீராக அமைந்தன இவ்விரண்டும். காட்சிக்கு மட்டுமில்லாமல், உணர்வுகளைப் பார்வையாளர்களிடம் கொண்டு சேர்த்தது இசை.

 

Malai Arasan, Tamil teacher

 

In theatres after sooo many years n yet you never failed to capture all our hearts even with your Guest Appearance... Duke Rengasamy Sommasundram.... Since young you had simply amazed us with ur passion in drama just like his father... once again you have made all of us proud da..indeed a mesmerising performance Iago Karthikeyan Somasundaram....  Kudos to the whole dedicated Othello Team!!!

 

Punitham Somasundram, Theatre supporter

                           

Such a delight to catch his amazing performance today as Iago. No right to say this, but I'm bloody proud of him. Or rather, I'm bloody proud to know such a fantastic actor.

 

Vemalan, Theatre practitioner

 

It was really a good show, which I enjoyed every bit of it. Casts really changed into the characters. To highlight a few. I saw bravery in Mohan's acting, cunning in Karthikeyan Somasundaram, (he was simply all over the stage). Gayathri Segaran brought tears to my eyes. Kishore did exceptionally well in his character. Others, they really did a very good job bringing life to the play. Tamil was beautifully used to make the play sweeter. Well done Soundrarajan Jeeva. Thanks to the whole unit for this wonderful play.

 

Manimaran, Theatre supporter

Othello... Umm wat can I say?? Simply wow.. Its my 1st time going for such plays.. But the 1st time will definitely be my start.. Everything frm start to end bout Othello was superb... William Shakespeare will definitely b proud.. The set, the lighting, the costumes, the make up, the music, the subtitles everything was simply awesome.. There was nuthing at all in my mind wen I was watching the play.. The actors(every single 1 of them), the Tamil language, their delivery n of cos their acting simply removed all yr other thots n made u concentrate.. Karthikeyan Somasundaram u r the man la.. Waah I saw Iago's every cruel n evil intention n u.. Kudos to u.. I at times felt bloody hell I wanna kill Iago.. U made Iago alive.. Othello on the other hand played by Mr Mohan, fwooo wat posture, wat pride n wat stupidity.. Everything Othello was culd b seen in u.. I culd go on n on but Thank U guys(everybody involved).. U made my day n made me a fan of theatre... Thanks to Soundrarajan Jeeva for inviting me.. U started this for me.. N yr Tamil, waaah superb la.. Thank u so much.. Thanks to Nesh Bommayi for enjoying the play with me.. For those who missed this, just keep yr fingers crossed dat they will bring it bk by popular demand..

Othello, I bow dwn to u..

 

Sivabalan, Vasantham Actor

 

I first did Othello a decade ago in JC but have never seen it staged. Today, Iago's 'motiveless malignity' came alive in all its nuances in your performance..Bravo!

 

Brintha devi, Arts supporter

 

It was excellent I really enjoyed myself,congratulations.

 

Bargav Sree Ganesh, Playwright

 

I managed to catch the play yesterday and boy, was I impressed.. brought back memories of studying the text during jc.. thank you! kudos to both ganesh and the entire team. looking forward to more of such

 

kavitha Sinnasamy, Arts enthusiast

 

I really enjoyed it. There is really so much to say. All i can say is tt it made me want to get back to acting again. It invoked my passion for theatre.

 

Thinesh Kurunathan, Arts lover

 

Ganesh, Brilliant work there I must say. I've watched a few plays in Tamil but this is indeed the best play! Thank you from the bottom of my heart is all I could say for giving an awesome treat to our being. Really love your humble nature. Please produce more of your plays. You and Soundarajan make a good team!  All the very best and stay blessed

Mel Maalanya Mariappan, Arts supporter

I didnt like it.. But I loved it..Brilliant work..I want to type more..But I don't know how to express it..It was magic on stage.. Thank you so much Ganesh. I was in awe watching the play. and seriously, Iago was mind blowing.

Dinesh Cheram, Theatre practitioner

 

Ganesh, just wanted to tell you that I thought Othello was the best Tamil play I have seen so far I enjoyed myself immensely

Priya, Lawyer and theatre lover

 

It was awesome. Despite not knowing anything abt drama, I enjoyed myself. I just love it..

Viji Siva, Theatre lover

 

கண்களுக்கு விருந்தாக அமைவது நாடகம். நம் கண்களுக்கு மது அளித்து போதையில் ஆழ்த்தியதோ ஒத்தெல்லோ. ‘ஒத்தெல்லோ, ஒத்தெல்லோ’, என்று வெனிஸ் நாட்டின் படைத்தளபதியின் பெயரே காதுகளில் பலக்க மொழிந்து கொண்டிருக்கின்றது. அண்டமெங்கும் காதல், வஞ்சம், சூழ்ச்சி என மாயைகள் நம் கைகளில் விலங்காக பற்றி ஆட்கொள்கிறது. இந்த விலங்கை உடைப்பது உண்மை மட்டுமே. நாவினில் உண்மையையும், உள்ளத்தில் நேர்மையையும், சித்தத்தில் தீர விசாரித்தலையும் கொண்டவர் மட்டுமே அகிம்சையை நிலைநாட்ட முடியும். இந்த மனித சூத்திரத்தை அறிந்தவனே பூட்டை உடைத்தெறிய முடியும். இந்த நாடகத்திலோ அத்திறன் பெற்ற ஒத்தெல்லோவே வஞ்சிக்கப்படுகிறான். அதன் விளைவு மரணம் அதாவது கொலை.

 

‘‘உலகமே ஒரு நாடக மேடை. அதில் நாம் அனைவரும் கதாப்பாத்திரங்கள்.’ என்று கூறியுள்ளார் வில்லியம் ஷேக்ஸ்பியர். இன்றும் இவர் நாடகத் தலைவனாக வித்திட்டிருப்பதன் ஒரே காரணம், இவர் பொய்யாமொழிப் புலவரான திருவள்ளுவனைப் போல், என்றைய சூழலிற்கும் பொருந்தும் கருத்துகளைக் கொண்டே நாடகங்களை உருவாக்கியிருப்பதனால். 

 

பதினாறாம் நூற்றாண்டின் சூழலை மீண்டும் கொண்டு வருவரும் சுலபமல்ல, அக்கால உடைகளுக்கு மதிப்பளிக்காமல் ‘கருப்புப் பெட்டி’ பாணியில் அரங்கேற்றுவதும் எளிதல்ல. அதற்கும் மேலாக அக்கால ஆங்கில நாடகத்தை, தூயத் தமிழில் மோழி பெயர்ப்பதும் சாதாரண செயல் அல்ல. இதன் வசனங்களை தமிழில் மொழிப்பெயர்க்க பல தடைகளை எதிர் நோக்கியிருப்பார் திரு சௌந்தர ராஜன் ஜீவா. இதை எல்லாம் செய்து காட்ட முடியும் என்று சுடக்கிட்டு இலக்கிய நடையில் காவியத்தைப் படைத்துள்ளார் என்றே கூற விரும்புகிறேன்.

எழுத்தாளர்க்கு எமது வாய் திறந்த, மயக்கமான பாராட்டுகள். இன்றும் மெய் மறந்தே இதை எழுதுகிறேன். இவரின் எழுத்திற்கு உயிர்ரோட்டம் தந்த அனைத்து நடிகர்களுக்கும், இயற்றிய தயாரிப்பாளர் திரு சுப்பிரமணியன் கணேஷுக்கும், நாடகத்தில் பின் இருந்து கடும் பாடுபட்டவர்களுக்கும் இந்த விமர்சனம் என் சமர்ப்பணம்.

 

கதையின் பின்புலம்

 

பிரபந்தியோவின் பெண் டெஸ்டிமோனா. வெனிஸ் நகரத்தின் படைத்தளபதியான ஒத்தெல்லோ அவளைக் காதலித்து பெற்றோர்க்குத் தெரியாமல் மணம் புரிகிறான். தன் பெண் தன்னிடமே பொய் கூறியதைத் தாளமுடியாமல் ஒத்தெல்லோவிற்கு எச்சரிக்கை அளிக்கிறார். என்னிடம் பொய் கூறியவள் உன்னிடம் மெய் உறைப்பாளோ என்று. அப்பொழுது அவள்பால் கொண்ட நம்பிக்கை இயாகோ என்ற வீரனால் கொஞ்சம் கொஞ்சமாக சிதைக்கப்பட்டு அழிந்து போகிறது. இயாகோ ஆசைப்பட்ட அந்த உயர் பதவியை மைக்கல் கெஸ்ஸியோ என்ற இளைஞனுக்கு ஒத்தெல்லோ வழங்கியதே, இயாகோவின் நெஞ்சத்தில் வஞ்சத்தை விதைத்தது.

 

வஞ்சத்தில் காதலின் சதுரங்க விளையாட்டே இயாகோவின் திட்டங்களுக்குக் கைக்கொடுத்தது. அன்பிலும், பண்பிலும் சிறந்த டெஸ்டிமோனாவை விலைமகள் போன்று தோற்றமளிக்க வைத்து ஆண்களிடையே பொறாமையைத் தூண்டிவிட்டு வேடிக்கை கண்டு களிப்புறுகிறான் இயாகோ. இறுதியில் திட்டம் நிறைவேறினாலும் தவறிழைக்காத கெஸ்ஸியோ உயிர்ப்பிழைக்கிறான். தன் தவற்றை உணர்ந்த ஒத்தெல்லோ அவமானம் தாள முடியாமல் தற்கொலை செய்து மடிகிறான். இயாகோ புடிப்பட்டுவிட்டான்.

 

இந்தத் தீய செயல்களை நாம் நம் அன்றாட வாழ்வில் பார்ப்பதே இந்தக் கதைக்கு மெருகூட்டியது. சந்தேகங்கள் நீடிக்கும் வரை தீமையைக் களைவது கடினமே.  இதுவே இக்கதையின் மையக்கருத்தாகும்.

 

நடிகர்கள் ஒரு பார்வை   

 

ஒத்தெல்லோவாக வி.மோகன், கருப்பினத்தவராகப் பாத்திரம் ஏற்று படைத்தளபதியின் குணாதிசயங்களை உள்வாங்கிக் கொண்டு, மிகச் சிறப்பாக நடித்துள்ளார்.  குறிப்பாக இறுதிக் கட்டத்தில் டெஸ்டிமோனாவை கொலை செய்யும் காட்சி ஒத்தெல்லோவை ரசிகர்கள் வெறுப்பதற்குப் பதிலாக அவர்களின் பாவப் பார்வையைக் காட்டச் செய்து மேடையின் கவனத்தைத் தன் வசம் இழுத்தார்.

 

இவருக்கு ஈடாக டெஸ்டிமோனாவாக கங்கா பாத்திரம் ஏற்று நம் கண்களைக் கலங்க வைத்துவிட்டார்.

 

மேடையையே தன் உருவம் கொண்டு வளைத்து சூழ்ச்சியில் ஈடுபட்ட இயாகோவின் புத்திக்

கூர்மையை ரசிக்க வைத்துவிட்டார் நமக்கு நன்கு அறிமுகமான திரு. கார்த்திகேயன் சோமசுந்தரம்.

 

ஒரு பைத்தியக்காரன் வேடம் புரிந்து அனைவரையும் சிரிக்க வைத்துவிட்டார் ரோடரிகோவான கிஷோர் குமரன்.

 

கேசியோவின் கவலைகளை நன்கு பாத்திரமேற்று நடித்தார் திரு.ஷபி.

 

இயாகோவின் மனைவியாக இருந்தாலும் நேர்மையைக் கட்டிக் காத்து அரசியின் தோழியாக மாண்டு விடுகிறாள் எமிலி என்ற காயத்திரி சேகரன்.

 

இணை நடிகர்களான குமாரி ரஞ்சினி, திரு சிவ குமார், திரு சலீம் ஹடி, மற்றும் திரு முகமது அமீன் ஆகியோரும் தத்தம் பாத்திரங்களை மிகச் சிறப்பாக பொறுப்பேற்று நடித்து நீங்கா இடம் பெற்றனர்.

 

இறுதியாக டுயூக் அப் வெனிஸ் என்று சிறப்பு நடிகராக முத்தான திரு சோமசுந்தரம் அவர்கள் நடித்தது மட்டும் இல்லாமல், அனைவரையும் இந்த நாடகப் பயணத்தில் ஒன்றிணைத்து வழிநடத்திச் சென்றிருக்கிறார். 

 

இயக்குநர் சுப்பிரமணியன் கணேஷ்

 

‘இது ஒரு குழுவின் படைப்பல்ல. நாடக ஆவலர்கள் ஒன்று சேர்ந்து படைத்த தனிப் படைப்பு.’ என்று நெஞ்சம் நிமிர்ந்து மார்பைத் தட்டி உரைத்த சொற்கள் இவை. வில்லியம் ஷெக்ஸ்பியரின் நாடகத்தை உருவாக்குவது எளிதல்ல. அதை மிகச் சிறப்பாக இயக்கியுள்ளனர் கணேஷ் மற்றும் சஸிக்கலா. நாடக ஆர்வலர்களாக ஒன்று சேர்ந்தால் மட்டும் போதுமானது என்பதற்குச் சான்றாக இந்த நாடகம் அமைந்துள்ளது. இந்தப் புதிய முயற்சியே நமக்கு புதிய பாதையின் துவக்கம் என்றும் சொல்லலாம். திரைமறைவே இல்லாத மேடையில் விளக்குகளைக் கொண்டு விளையாடி இரண்டு வெவ்வேறு காட்சிகளையும் ஒரே தருணத்தில் அரங்கேற்றியுள்ளார். இது பாராட்டத்தக்க செயலாகும். இவரின் கனவுகளை மெய்பட வைத்த அரங்க முட்டுகள் அதிகாரிகளுக்கும் பாராட்டுகள். இப்படிப்பட்ட குழுவை எப்படிக் கண்டெடுத்தார் என்று தெரியவில்லை. ஆயின், அங்கே வியர்வை சிந்திய அனைவரும் பாராட்டப்பட வேண்டியவர்கள். இதைச் சாத்தியமாக்கிய ஆதரவாளர்களுக்கும் என் மனமுவந்த நன்றி. இந்த இளம் வயதில் இந்த நாடகத்தை உருவாக்கியதே மாபெரும் சாதனை.

சாதனையைப் படைத்து மட்டும் செல்லாமல், கலைமாமணி விருதுகளை அளிக்க எண்ணியதற்கே பாராட்டுகள். வெவ்வேறு கலைத்துறையில் சிறந்து விளங்கியவர்களுக்கு விருதுகள் அளித்து கௌரவித்ததற்கு நன்றி. தன் நாடகம் சிறப்பாக இருந்தால் மட்டும் போதும் என்ற சுயநலனில்லாமல் இதையும் நாடகத்தின் ஓர் அங்கமாகச் சேர்த்துக்கொண்டதே சிறப்பிற்குரிய செயலாகும். கலைகளுக்கும் தூயத் தமிழிற்கும் தொண்டாற்றியது ஒத்தெல்லோ, திரு கணேஷின் நாடகம். இது அவரின் நாடகம் மட்டுமல்ல, தமிழின் நாடகமும் கூட.

 

‘மேலும் செய்யலாமே!’

 

எத்திசையும் நம் மேடை நாடகங்கள் புகழ் மணக்கட்டுமே. வெளிநாடுகளில் இதைக் கொண்டு சென்றால் தமிழின் சிறப்பை மேலும் வலியுறுத்துவது போன்று இருக்கும். உங்களின் எளிய ஆங்கில பெயர்ப்பும் புரியாதவர்களைக் கூட மெய் மறக்கச் செய்துவிடும்.

இது போன்ற இலக்கிய நாடகங்களைப் பொது மக்களைக் கொண்டும் நிகழ்த்தலாமே. நம் வசந்தக் கலைஞர்கள் நமக்கு வழிகாட்டியாக இதைப் படைத்துள்ளனர். பிற நாடக ஆர்வலர்களையும் மேடையில் அரங்கேற்றலாமே.

இந்தத் தமிழ் நாடகத்தின் வசனங்களை இணையத்தில் வெளியேற்றி, அனைவரையும் மகிழ்விக்கும் வண்ணம் வானொலியிலும் போட முயற்சிக்கலாமே!

முடியாதது என்று ஏதும் இல்லை, தகுந்த ஆதரவு வழங்கும் வரை. இப்படிப்பட்ட வலுவான நாடகங்களுக்கு நாம் ஆதரவளிக்காவிடில் நாம் மூடர்களே என்றுதான் கூற வேண்டும்.

 

இறுதியாக, சமூதாயக் கொள்கைகளைக் கொண்டு தயாரிக்கப்பட்ட இந்த நாடகம் பலரின் உள்ளங்களைக் கவர்ந்துள்ளது என்று பெருமையாகச் சொல்வதே சாலச் சிறந்தது. மேலும் இது போன்ற போதைகளுக்கு அடிமையாகக் காத்திருக்கிறேன். வெற்றி நிச்சயம். உங்களால் கலை சிரஞ்சீவீயாகவே நிலைத்திருக்கும். நன்றி.

 

ஐஸ்வர்யா , Thangameen Tamil E-Magazine reporter

 

When one of my closest friends told me that there was an upcoming play about Othello in Tamil, my initial reaction was, quite frankly, a lack of reaction. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am all for the performing arts, having learnt Natyam myself for 4 years. But to have a great literary piece of art being made into a play, I was not so sure about it, But, I was intrigued and therefore agreed to watch the play. After all, Tamil Art Connoisseurs are the minority within the minority (if you get my drift!).

Now, before I get into the play itself, let me give a brief introduction of Othello (The Moor of Venice). It is about a black man (Othello) and a white young woman (Desdemona) who are married and tragically fall prey to the treachery of Iago. Iago, who wants sweet revenge , poisons Othello’s mind with suspicion, turning him into a jealous monster who calls for the murder of Cassio (his beloved friend, with whom Iago claims Desdemona is having an affair with) and ultimately trying to kill Desdemona. Yeap, that’s the whole play in a nutshell (a very small nutshell).

On to the play I watched. Honestly, I was not sure about the show even when I was seated in the theater. Although I had heard pretty good reviews about the show, I was not sure if I was going to enjoy it (don’t ask me why). However, yesterday was a good example of how one should never form an impression without having any basis to it. The show was, in one word, brilliant. I never seen such an exceptional translation nor did I foresee the ease with which the actors delivered their beautifully profound dialogues.

Every actor on stage did justice to their roles. However, I must make a special mention of the character Iago. Never have I hated a character with such vigour. But Iago, I despised. Secretly however, I held a small amount of admiration for him. His only goal was to achieve what he wanted and he had no qualms about who he had to use or abuse or what he had to do to get it. The truth is this: everyone of us has a little Iago in us, the part that we keep repressed for fear of moral and ethical consequences. Iago made sure that everyone of the audience formed a love-hate relationship with him. I was well aware that the actor/producer/director Karthikeyan had participated in a lot shows. However, yesterday I realized the true depth of his skills and I have a new-found respect for a homegrown talent.

Of course, Othello was portrayed just as brilliantly and in my mind, no one could have pulled off Othello the way Mr. Mohan did. Mr. Mohan is Othello. Emilia was beautifully played by Gayathri Segaran, another surprise for me as I have never seen her in a play. Cassio, Montano, Lodovico, Desdemona, Brabanzio, Bianca and Roderigo were all just as exceptional in their roles. Although I had to read the subtitles on display (as embarassing as it sounds), I was in awe that not one character even so much as stammered whilst delivering their dialogues. The language was one that belonged in the era of our ancestors and it was delivered with such grace and poise, it is no wonder Tamil is considered such a beautiful language. It was also a special treat to see Mr. Somasundaram on stage.

Of course, just as much as the actors brought life to the characters, the director and producer gave life to the whole play and the backstage crew gave life to the settings of the play. However, one man has given life to dialogues of the play and that man would be Mr. Soundararajan, who translated the play into Tamil.  All of these people collectively gave life to an exceptional show yesterday – the props, the music, the costumes, the lighting, the actors, the direction etc.

Having said all of that, the real idea of my post is to bring to light the dedication and passion of these people. They are just like everyone of us, having a full time job and a life separate from the arts. Yet, their dedication to the arts is simply amazing. The 6 months of their lives that they have set aside for the play is a commitment that not many people can stick with; with or without incentives. I can only imagine the amount of hardwork, effort, trials, tribulations and tears that must have gone into making Othello a success. To think that all of this became a reality because of passion, dedication and commitment alone is simply astounding and I believe each and every one of them who was a part of the show deserves a standing ovation.

The director had mentioned that this play was done independently with no relation to any professional drama group so as to put forth the idea that anyone can do a drama. But I would like to add on that only with true passion and dedication will the drama be a success. The reality is this: we have exceptional home grown talents. But we also have a limited platform when it comes to funding the local Arts scene. The sad truth is that because of a lack of support, a lot great talents go unnoticed and a lot of great ideas; shelved.

Of course, it is undeniable that there are a lot changes happening in how the Arts are perceived in current times and there is more support than before.  I do hope that this trend continues and there comes a day where all artists get the due credit and respect they deserve. So for today,  I call out to everyone out there to give credit to the cast and crew of Othello: The fall of a warrior for they deserve all of it.

 

Umzykazumi, Blogger and Arts enthusiast

Loving the Language

 

Staging Shakespeare in English is already a challenge in itself.  Kudos to the team! It was a enjoyable performance. I was especially impressed with the script. It would have been a monumental effort. It was an amazing experience listening to the beauty of the language.
The screens with the surtitles were an excellent addition, ensuring that the meaning is not lost to those who were unable to follow the dialogues. I found myself more than once left mesmorised by the beauty of the language. Amazing effort by Soundrarajan Jeeva! I thank him for giving me the chance to fall in love with my Tamil Language again.

 

An Enchanting Audio-Visual Experience

 

The audio and visuals were excellent in their support. The make up and the costumes brought out the characters to life and transported me to that era. Bianca was simply gorgeous and Montano looked extremely real.  I got to say the photos looked stunning.  The postors of Iago and Roderigo were particularly impressive.

The background scores  by Divine Sutra was absolutely out of this world. They are still playing in my ears as I write this piece. I loved how the music created and enhanced the elements . The beauty of it was that it did not feel like it was distinct from the scene. It fitted in seamlessly, never trying to hog the lime-light for itself, but there as a team player to enhance the scene.

 

Intelligent Direction 

When I first heard that Othello was going to be staged, that too, at Goodman Arts Centre, I had expected a creative rendition, bearing in mind the physical limitations of the place,Perhaps something that will just revolve around the battles Othello faced. Having seen the publicity materials, thereupon, realising a full Othello cast, my curiosity was definitely piqued.

How was Ganesh going to execute it? I was impressed. The set planning, usage of lights, the elevation and depth. Clearly, alot of thought had gone into it. I did feel that the final few minutes could have been better. It did feel rather rushed. It could have been due to the time factor. But on the whole, I was really impressed.

 

Quality Acting

Well, with a star-studded cast, my expectations were definitely raised. On the whole, it was definitely a solid performance. It was joy to see to veteran Mr Somasundram on stage. He carried the role of the Duke of Venice with such dignity. It is no surprise that his son Karthikeyan (left) was the stand out performer.

Personally I was disappointed with Othello andRoderigo. Mohan is an awesome actor. But this portrayal did not impress me. Perhaps it was the limitation of the script or the style preferred by the directors or it could be my high expectation for Mohan. Where Shakespeare’s Othello is concerned, I really wanted to see the gradual effect of Iago’s poison on Othello . While’s Iago’sschemes were brilliantly portrayed by Karthik, the execution of the increasing effect on Othello was average. Infact, I was only impressed with Mohan as Othello in his scene with the Duke and the final scene when he delivers his final speech. To me, it was not Mohan’s best performance.

Kishore’s portrayal of Roderigo was especially disapointing as he looked so good in the marketing materials. I was expecting a smooth delivery of our Udhayam Start. Unfortunately, Roderigo failed to deliver. He plays the role of the secondary antagonist as well as unfortunate victim to Iago. The adoption of a false voice for the execution of the character was regretful and  unnecessary. Was it an attempt to make up for the lack of ability to carry the character?  Honestly, I do not know. Infact, his rendition ofRoderigo was similar to his portrayal of a character he played  for a Nus production in 2008. I can only hope that our Udhayam Star will bounce back.

Emilia, played by Gayathri Segaran was impressive as always. Easily one of Singapore’s best television actress, her performance in theatre was an absolute joy. When she screamed for Desdemona upon the latter’s last breath, I swear, my heart stopped for a moment. She has such intensity in her voice.

 

Impact on Tamil Literary Education In Singapore

My initial post-event reactions of the play in general was rather average. I suppose I was expecting something different. Othello, having had a great impact on me during my student years, in blackbox  resulted me in expecting more depth in the discussion of the themes and main characters in Othello and/or how those themes adapt to our society today.

The straightforward translation of Shakespeare’s Othello was clearly a surprise and it was one that grew on me. I believe this play could have a great impact on tamil education on Singapore. Wouldn’t it be great if every tamil literature student in Singapore had the opportunity to dive into it? Even it is not part of the syllabus officially, atleast via some ad-hoc project work.

 

Presented by Tamil Theatre Enthusiasts

 

The team deserves a standing ovation for this effort. They are prove that anyone can stage a drama if they want to. But could this have done on a bigger scale if it was performed under a banner? There are some scripts that are written for blackbox. Shakespeare’s Othello in blackbox is a challenge which was executed remarkably byGanesh and team, but having done a literal translation, I cannot help but feel that this is one that should have been on a bigger stage with more grandeur.

Having said that, judging by the trend of tamil theatre groups in Singapore, blackbox seems like the preferred option, probably due to a lack of funding and resources.

 

Even where marketing and publicity is concerned, I do feel that the team in Othello did an excellent job. I heard that every show was a sell-out, and deservingly so. Perhaps it would not have made a difference if this was performed under a banner

 

Guruproject, Social network blog