Ranga Shankara is the new theatre complex in Bangalore. Dedicated to the memory of Shankar Nag, the versatile actor. It was a hair rising experience when I walked into Ranga Shankara on 12th.
The first thing I looked for was Shankar Nag's 'image'. There it was, right in the entrance. A sketch showing him in the director's pose. That sketch catches the Shankar Nag we all knew and came to admire. He was a man of immense talent and vision who pushed the limits of creativity in Kannada cinema.
Ranga shankara is in JP Nagar, tucked away from the blaring Banglore traffic. I have seen the place growing up . I used to wonder how they could fit a theatre in such a small place. It is a neat little complex with cosy and well-put-together auditorium, coffee shop and a book shop. Wood and terracotta themes are used to give the place a natual look. A refreshing place after all the chrome and glass we are used to in Bangalore.
Me and Madhu went to see Shastra Parva, a Kannada play based in Mahabharata. We walked in at 7:30 with the play having already started. A volunteer asked us to switch off the mobile and lead us to our seat. The auditorium was full by that time. We were seated in the late comers' gallery in the very last row. The seats are really wooden benches with cushion on them. Which is a good idea by the way. It allows friends to sit as a group than be forced to sit apart for the lack of seats.
One thing that stuck me immediately as I sat down was the intensity of expressions on the actor's faces. Movies usually make up for the lack of expressions on the actors's faces by resorting to tricks like zoom-ins and loud background music. Any body who watches soaps on TV would vouch for this.
The play itself was nice. I liked the songs(?). Especially, "Indra... Indra... Ellirve Indra...". I'm humming that song ever since. The guy playing Jayadratha and Pandu were especially good. Hidimba's character was a let down.
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