A technically sound theater group wouldn't have been strong enough, more than
a century ago. But a century later, it finds itself miles ahead of its contemporaries.
Surabhi is the group we are talking about. It was an energizing experience to
witness this play "Bhakta Prahlada" in Telugu by the Surabhi performers. This
age-old theater group, known for its gimmicks like elaborate props, settings,
lighting and many an effect with screens and music, is a thorough entertainer.
Interestingly, Surabhi's effects are trade secrets that families cherish! And others who have tried to copy their exclusive on-stage effects have not been as successful. This staging was presented by Vinayaka Natya Mandali of Surabhi Theatre.
"Bhakta Prahlada" is one of their prime productions, which has the anthropomorphic Lord Narasimha tearing the pillar and emerging to slay the antihero Hiranyakasipa. Further, there were more instances where young Prahlada is punished. The scene where he is being pushed from the mountains has a screen and high stage making the sets of hills.
Apart from all the dramatic effects, the dialogues and music were forceful, too. This play was staged on the occasion of 47th death anniversary of the founder of Surabi Theater Group, Panarasa Govinda Rao. He started this group with a strong technical backup, around 110 years ago. The occasion also saw presentations of financial support to four different traditional theater groups to encourage their activities.