Ponniyin Selvan – A Magic Lantern Production

Keeping in mind all the various possible implications of the word `large-scale’ in theater, the reincarnation of Kalki‘s Ponniyin Selvan by Magic Lantern (2014) – directed by Pravin Kannanur – has been one of the most large-scale Indian experimental urban theater productions in recent times.


(Preethi Athreya as Kundavai and Srikrishna Dayal as Vanthiyathevan)

Excerpts from The Hindu, Chennai:

“Kamban, the author of Ramayanam , said that his effort to portray the life of Rama is akin to a cat aspiring to drink the water of the ‘parkadal’.

Condensing the five volumes of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s  Ponniyin Selvan , which ran as a serial for four years, into a three-and-a-half hour play is no mean task. As 2014 marks the completion of 60 years of Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan, Chennai-based production company SS International Live and theatre group Magic Lantern have adapted the novel for the stage. It will be performed for a week at Music Academy from June 8.

“We have adapted the novel in such a way that all the 55 characters we have culled out from the novel will appeal to the audience,” says Pravin, the director of the play.”

After a whole month (June-July 2014 ) of continuous performances in and around Chennai, here is Ponniyin Selvan with its reviews and photos at Magic Lantern’s own space.

(The Ponniyin Selvan Group)

Photo Courtesy – G. Venkatram