Unless your soul is in a parrot, there's no reason you won't love Bala Nagamma's tale. And unless you are a parrot, it's not easy getting to Shilparamam on an evening from anywhere in town. Hopefully your love of Telugu theater is all surpassing.
Shilparamam, in association with Sri Venkateshwara Natya Mandali (Surabhi Group), is organising a 9-day Surabhi Drama Festival, from 21st to 29th April. Today, the penultimate day, a famous Telugu mythological drama called Bala Nagamma will be staged.
Bala Nagamma is the beautiful queen of King Karyavardhiraju, who is abducted by a male witch called Mayala Marathi, who's gotten bowled over by her beauty. Karyavardhiraju is turned into a stone upon trying to rescue his queen. Time and again the male witch goes to Bala Nagamma with his proposal of getting married to her, but she rejects his advances saying that she was in a penance to get rid of all her previous sins.
In this way 12 years elapse. In the meantime, her son Balavardhiraju grows up at the palace, and becomes an able successor to his brave father. He invades Mayala Marathi, but fails in killing him, as his spirit is safely kept in a parrot. Bala Nagamma, meanwhile, romantices the male witch, who in turn divulges his secret of his life. So with the help of his mother, Balavardhiraju kills Mayala Marathi, by finding the parrot and killing it.
Surabhi is the oldest theater group in India, started sometime in the 1890s by Vanarasa Govind Rao, who had three sons and ten daughters. As the size of the family expanded, several sub-groups were formed, one such being Sri Venkateshwara Natya Mandali. Initially there were 50 companies, which dwindled to 16 in 1974 and only 4 in 1982. Currently, there are 5 functioning across Andhra Pradesh, all under the umbrella of Surabi Nataka Kala Sangam. Sri Venkateshwara Natya Mandali, the biggest of them all, was set up in 1937. Today, their troupe has 62 members.
For further details, please contact the venue at 2310-0455.