Malayalam actor and classical dancer Manju Warrier is all set to make her theatre debut playing the iconic character of Shakuntala in the Sanskrit play "Abhijnana Shakuntalam".
The News Minute has exclusive pictures from the dress rehearsal of the play, which will open in Thiruvananthapuram on July 18. Dressed in a green and beige skirt and blouse, Manju Warrier looks every bit like Shakuntala – beautiful, innocent and graceful.
Her venture, Manju Warrier Productions, is producing "Abhijnana Shakuntalam" as a tribute to the theatre doyen Kavalam Narayana Panicker, who passed away in Thiruvananthapuram last month.
Kavalam had translated several Sanskrit plays in his lifetime and had adapted them to stage.
The actor said she had the good fortune to associate with Kavalam during the last phase of his life when she was trained by him for “Abhijnana Shakuntalam”.
“It was his wish to bring “Abhijnana Shakuntalam” to the stage again starting from Thiruvananthapuram. After he passed away, his family and I felt that it was on us to fulfil his wish and to stage the play again. I can feel his presence and blessings with us today as we speak now,” she said.
Kavalam’s granddaughter and secretary of Sopanam Institute of Performing Arts and Research, Kalyani Krishnan said they have decided to continue his legacy in the theatre and in performing arts.
“We have been producing Sanskrit plays since 1978. It is our privilege that Warrier who is one of the best loved actors in Malayalam film industry is with us in our efforts to continue with the experiments in theatre and celebration of art that my grandfather started,” said Krishnan.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the 90-minute Sanskrit play at the Tagore Theatre in Thiruvananthapuram on July 18.
Sopanam Institute of Performing Arts and Research, founded by Kavalam, will be staging the play and cultural organisation 'Swaralaya' will host the programme.
All photos by Sreekesh Raveendran Nair
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)