(the pranks of a drunkard)
a comedy in
Sanskrit language performed in a sandwitch stage
performed by Sanskrit college, Tripunithura
Design and Direction
Duration of the play: 70 mts.
A social satire of 7th c.A.D
by the pallava king Mahendra Vikrama of Kochi.
Mattavilasa means the wild
pranks of a drunkard. It is the story of Satyasoma, a poor saivaite
belonging to the order of Kapalikas. Intoxicated, he wanders with his
consort on the streets of Kanchi. On the way he looses his begging bowl.
Kapala is his insignia and the loss of this deprives him of his identity.
Both walk through the street in search of the Kapala.
On the way they come across
a Buddhist Monk Nagasena whom they suspect to thief of the Kapala. There
is quarrel between the two. The Monk wails calling the name of Lord
Buddha. Now a pasupata of another saivaite order comes on the way. He
interferes to arbitrate the case. The only adds to the confusion. At
last, they resolve to present the matter before the court.
At this juncture, a mad man
enters. He has in his hand a bowl snatched from the mouth of a dog.
This is the Kapala they were looking for. The Kapalini gets back the
sign of his penance and all are happy.
The moral degradation among
various religions sects forms the theme of the play. All the vehement
social criticism sarcastic commends are intended to expose their hypocracy.
The lunatic is the only character who is free from these viles. The
theme is relevant to all ages.
The play is very much popular
on the Koodiyattam stage. But the performance does not do justice to
the drama. The first two verses alone are enacted. All the rest is extraneous
to the text.
The production keeps up the
dramatic form intact. The mode of presentation is straight and simple.
The wit and humour is well brought out.