Malayalam plays grab attention at ITFoK with powerful themes 


The Malayalam plays staged at the International Theatre Festival of Kerala (ITFoK) grabbed the spotlight with their powerful themes, energetic performances, and refreshing ideas.

Ubu Roi, directed by Deepan Sivaraman, speaks solid politics, about fascism and the feudal attitude of political supremacy. Ubu Roi was penned by Alfred Jarry, who raised his voice against the idea of fascism years ago. The play was produced by Kerala Arts and Crafts Village, Kovalam, and Oxygen Theatre Company, Thrissur.

The story was conceived as a spectacle of the State witnessed by the people from two sides of a gallery. The spectacle of parades revolves around self-obsessive, greedy, power-hungry characters and their collaboration to attain supreme power by demolishing democracy.

Message from Corner

Corner is a Malayalam drama directed by Varun Madhavan. This play is a take on the way society views transgender people when they try to work with the mainstream. The play draws its theme from Paul Zacharia’s short story Then (Honey) and the autobiography of poet-speaker Vijarajamallika (an intersex person) while including techniques from the folksy ‘Porattunatakam’ of rural Palakkad.

Featuring four main characters — a transwoman named Kokila, a bear, a hunter, and a questioner — the play is set in a corner of the stage. Mirrors are strategically used to depict both external and internal reflections of numerous human experiences.

Contemporary and classic

Award, directed by Arun Lal, concentrates on the contemporary adaptation of classics. It is a visual-auditory treat to the audience, in addition to being a thought-provoking piece.

The play is accompanied by a classical percussion instrument similar to Mizhav, particularly made for this. The drama tried to convey how reality is transformed into fabrication one, on the lines of the media trying to twist the truth for their marketing purposes in these times.

On a fake fan

Award, the play which runs through two characters who are Kathakali fans, takes a detour at a certain point and the audience realise that one of them is acting as a Kathakali fan who doesn’t know how to enjoy any art performances.

When music speaks

Njanum Potte Bappa Olmaaram Kanuvan of the School of Drama and Fine Arts, Thrissur, is a theatrical reimagination of an antique folk story song, from the oral traditions of the Lakshadweep Islands.

The drama conveys the precise political background through the folk songs of Lakshadweep. The play, directed by Najmul Shahi, which combines myth and fiction, was one of the popular ones on the third day of ITFoK. The ideas were conveyed to the audience in a complete opera style, with emphasis on music rather than dialogue.


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