Saturday, July 30, 2016

Nagercoil Expressum Nadaga companyum ... review

It is a grey , cloudy and overcast Saturday in Bangalore. Thanks to the Karnataka bandh ( since when did they call for bandh on Saturdays) the  almost traffic less drive through to  Alliance Francaise is a breeze, literally.

The old world charm of Allaince Francaise building and the cozy warmth of its auditorium is very comforting. 
To think,  I have come to watch a play with absolutely no clue as to what it is all about is  slightly discomforting.

Nagercoil Expressum Nadaga companyum   … uh !!!  what sort of a title is that ?.

Well … they are two stage plays  and sandwiched between them is a ten minute intermission.  

One occurs aboard the Nagercoil Express when two co-passengers Chandru and Shankar get acquainted over a drink only to discover a third passenger and a strange message that awaits them.  
The second one,  Nadaga Company is a satire that takes you back and forth and right through the messy intertwined landscape of the intricate connection of cinema and politics in Tamilnadu. The play takes potshots at those   chance actors and errand boys of the erstwhile theatre groups who shot to fame with the advent of cinema  and then those who later shaped  the murky landscape of power and politics in Tamilnadu.

Seamless acting out of scenes, the atrociously colourful costumes coupled with amazing histrionics from  the artists, a subtle but apt musical score and not to mention the near flawless direction of Vinodhini Vaidyanathan  are all  simply breathtaking.   

Wow … Tamil theatre has really come of age since the S V Sekar and R S Manohar days.    

As I drive out of the parking lot and meander through the thick foliage of alliance Francaise , I catch myself LLOL …  literally laughing out loud.

 Karruppu kannadi pottavan ellam kedi illai
followed tongue in cheek by
Mattukari thinravan ellam Modi illai ….

     ( Translation will not do any justice … I will let it pass )  

  All throughout the drive back I am reliving the dialogues that came and went in quick succession. It is not like I am slow at the uptake.  It is just that the Scenes unfolded and the dialogues  came in too fast and furious for someone totally uninitiated to register. Needless to say it was a laugh riot all the way.

It is a brilliantly enacted piece of satirical theatre that lingers around for hours after you have moved on …

The next show was at 7.30 pm. May be I should have stayed back to watch the second time.  Like a kaldeiscope,  where you get to view a different  perspective every time, one  could enjoy some cleverly crafted comedy and  a chance to admire some great acting performances.  
Worth a second watch.      

P.S : Alex …  you rock.  


  1. Good to know that this play has impressed you. Was considering watching Tamil plays for a while, now maybe it's time to go to a few :)

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  3. Lovely review. Thanks Jayanti..rain and bandh kept many away..but we did have high energy shows. I hope we do the play again in BLR..

    Thanks for the P.S. line. That's my most favorite line in the review :-)

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