Irayimman Thampi, another court poet of Travancore to flourish in the first half of nineteenth century composed three great Kathakali plays, Utharaswayamvaram, Keechakavadham and Dakshayagam. The first two of these are from the Virata Parva of Mahabharatha when Pandavas, the protagonists of the great epic are in exile. As per the rules of a dice game played by Pandavas and Kauravas, the former are staying in disguise in the kingdom of Virata. Kaurava prince Duryodhana, the antagonist, plots to uncover the identity of Pandavas in a bid to extend their time in exile. He sends his trusted lieutenant Thrigartha to steal cattle from Virata, so that Pandavas may be provoked to reveal themselves and fight. King Virata is foiled and imprisoned as he tries to thwart Thrigartha. How the brave warriors Bhima (disguised as a cook) and Arjuna (disguised as a eunuch) comes to the rescue of their host forms the central theme of the play. Arjuna the hero, is supported in his endeavour by Virata’s young son Utharan.
Main characters and artistes in the order of appearance:
Duryodhanan – Kalamandalam Balasubramanian
Bhanumathi – Kalamandalam Vijayakumar
Doothan – Kalamandalam Neeraj
Karnan – Kalamandalam Adithyan
Bheeshmar – Kalamandalam Vipin
Thrigarthan – Kalamandalam Soman
Viratan – Kalamandalam Adithyan
Valalan – Kalamandalam Neeraj
Schedule: Thursday December 1, 2016 – 10.30 am
Venue: HRH Princess Haya Bint Hussein Theatre, GEMS Wellington International School, Dubai.