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Vethillaipetti Veerappan
Lights On
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THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS. News Today 29-1-99
Drama Of rumours and political satire that the age is still a powerful medium was provided by the inaugural show of united Amateur Artists ‘Vethilapetti Veerappan’. The stage has always had an added at traction, in the sense that one is able to see the real person on the stage in flesh and blood. In variance with the image on the big screen and the small screen. This particular play revolves around a comical theme of how the youngsters reform their elders. Of course , it is an anti- thesis in the sense, in our social set up it is the duty of the elders to correct the youngsters by Y Gee Mahendra has found a rare theme which is ideal for a drama . Karaikudi Narayanan, who has authored the play has brought out the intrinsic beauties of a drama in the various twists and turns that is always associated with a social drama. The lead is played by the one and only Y Gee Mahendra. He brings on stage , Vethilapetti Veerappan who delights in the sadistic pleasure of spreading wild rumours about whomsoever coming his way. The brings out effectively, the evils of rumour -mongering and it brings forth the truth that rumour with its attendant evil spreads faster than fire. How Veerappan collect money for various purposes and mints money and spreads rumours in the process is brought out effectively. The two -and-a- half-hour drama has its usual quota of satire, on a Tamil loving politicians who sends his children to English medium schools. The problems of a Prime Minister heading a coalition government also has a place. In the present social; set up , the relevance of drama’s theme might be questionable However ,the artists succeed in injecting an element of realism in the otherwise unbelievable net of ideas. Veerappan’s father, a Gandhian had died after realising his dram of erecting a statue. In the process, he had to sell all his property but the cause of his death was the shock he had when he saw the statue having been disfigured the very next day after it had been installed. His mother shocked at the death of her husband also dies on the same day. Veerappan takes a vow over the dead bodies of his parents that he would make a living by spreading rumours, well that was his decision and he succeeds in making money that way. This is narrated by a reformed Veerappan at the end of the at the end of the play who finds that the balloon has been picked when he realises that it cannot be sustained for a long period time . The adamant Veerappan is taught s lesson by the youngsters-Veerappan’s son Gopi ,his friend Marikolundu, swapna, Revathi and Muthurakku. Marikolundu , who plays the part of Veerappan’s illegal son in the drama enacted to reform Veerappan, was supposed to have been born to Jayam a village damsel. The MP, Muthurakku is the father of swarna who has set her heart on marrying Gopi. But the boy marries Revathi , a social worker who works at an orphanage who has also been troubled by the rumours of Veerappan. The MP has a sentiments that where ever he goes he would only listen to the ‘ Saavu Molam’ being played which he calls mangala isai. Kalai, veerappan’s brother in law is his assistant and always intervenes with the wrong word. As the saying goes all’s well that ends well, the drama comes o a happy end with Veerappan being reformed of his rumour mongering ways . As usual , Y. Gee Mahendra steals the show by being omnipresent through out the play , however Balaji as Marikolundu excels. Other in the cast are Subramani, Prushothaman , Murali , Sunder Hanumanthan and D S R Rao.
- Deepa H Ramakrishnan.
 
     
Vasool Chakravarthy
The message of national integration is tidily brought out the end without sermonising. Instead of the surfeit of violence and gore one sees on stage and screen, the reforming power of kindness and warmth is stressed here. The artiste acquit themselves well. Thanks to their characterization, Murali as the Sardar who dotes on his son and S.Suresh as Balbir ,the object of his affection, are a notch above the others. Y.G. Mahendra as Chinnadurai displays his usually versatility in the serious as well as the comic moments. The play draws strength from the dialogue by K.Dinakar. The theme and the handling frequently gives the drama and the old-fashioned, "seen-before" air, yet it provides an evening’s pleasant entertainment. The direction is smooth the party scene especially is riotous fun, while the bomb sequence gives a touch of pathos. In ‘Vasul Chakravarthy’ the wine is old, and though not invigorating, soothes one with its familiar taste.
THE HINDU, Oct 8, 1993.

Although dealing with an overworked theme, Y.G. Mahendra and team imparted a certain freshness and carried off remarkably their latest presentation ‘ Vasul Chakravarthy’ It was good to se Mahendra come into his own in this play sans all those annoying mannerisms, truly excelling himself in all departments- story, dramatisation and direction. Dialogues were by Dinakar. The second half of the play picks up tempo and the ‘ tenants day’ celebration is a thoroughly enjoyable episode in the play which proves that Indians with their diverse cultures can acutely enrich the lives of one, another. Suresh deserves special mention for playing his part with understanding and sensitively particularly when he pleads with Chinnadurai not to resort to the use of bombs to get rid of them. Each character is finely delineated with its own foibles and problems. Good team work is evident. The play has its small share of double entendre dialogues but they are delivered so shackily that they get away with it. Vasul Chakravarthy’ is a lot of fun. If you’re looking for a zany comedy then ‘Vasul’ is recommended.
THE HINDU, Friday, October 8, 1993.
     
SEIDHIGAL VASIPATHU UAA REVIEWS
United Amateur Artistes’ latest offering ‘ Seithigal Vaasippathu UAA’ (directed and dramatised by Y.G. Mahendra) is a college of playlets, a couple of which are inspired by news items. The writer Venkat gives his imagination free rein as to what could have happened to those persons who made a feeling passage through the columns of print or the takes off on an event featured before such as a reading on the BBC. The items culled are diverse and different and sometimes rather bizarre – a sex operation which transforms two loving girlfriends into man and wife, a series of letters exchaned between boss and subordinate, a days silent fast which costs the head of a family dear, and news of a missing women whose disappearance is fertile opportunity for exploitation by those around her.
Clothed in humour, a massage was sought to be put across in each play. The acting was very good as usual, the versatile duo Y.G. Mahendra and T. M. Sumramaniam complementing each other perfectly and donning a number of roles with the utmost ease.
THE HINDU, Friday, October 28, 1994
     
A PURPOSEFUL PLAY
While political satires and half-baked comic episodes have become the order of the day, Y.G. Mahendra’s latest play, Vasul Chakravarthy is a purposeful play coated with unpolluted comedy and a bus-load of hilarious sequences. Besides penning the story and directing the play, Y.G. Mahendra depicts the title of the role. The nucleus of the play is the focus upon the valuable humanitarian consideration which is much more important then monetary aspects. It also sheds light on the need for human beings to be more consideration. The play also speaks about the growing tendency among the people in the state towards violence and aggressiveness. A purposeful play that drives home an important message.
R.S. PRKASH EVENING MADRAS, Thursday, November 4, 1993.
     
RIOTOUS FUN
What a joy it was to see. Y.Gee. Mahendra and Venkat truly come into their own in their latest venture Seidhigal Vasipathu UAA- four hilarious short plays in one, inaugurated at Rani Seethai Hall (Story and Dialogues Venkat, Dramatisation and Direction Y.Gee Mahendra). The result us riotous fun from start to finish. The duo proved that a fertile imagination, supberb timing, teamwork, a great sense of humour and histrionics of a high order can do wonders to even new-based stories and other issues that to be talked about.
There was a serious side to it as well and some of the plays made viewers stop and think for one brief moment about the issues raised and in doing so Mahendra busted the myth that anything with a massage is boring.
Serious themes all, handled brilliantly, exploiting fully the comic element without losing sensitivity. Venkat’s dialogues sparkled with wit and humour and the cast did full justice to the delivery. The versatility of some of the actors and actresses like Y.Gee. Mahendra and T.M.Subramaniam who donned five roles each and J.R.Sheela who essayed three roles was amazing. It was also heartening to see several students of the Y.G.P Academy of Acting and Fine Arts sharing the space with Mahendra.
Every one of the actors and actresses no matter how brief the appearance did their part well. Characterization was very good. Considering the diversity and incredible range of characters portrayed in all the plays.
INDIAN EXPRESS, October 10, 1994.
     
LIGHTS ON MEANINGFUL AND MATURE
Handling a play which has both suspense and humour is a difficult task. But Y.Gee. Mahendra excels in this, in his latest venture’ LIGHTS ON’ , a murder mystery. The Director successfully manages to keep the suspense alive till the end.
The humour in the play is integral to the theme and Y.Gee. Mahendra’s effort is laudable in that the production stands out for its efficient handling. With its convincing story line, the play compels the audience to sit glued to heir seats. The characterization is excellent and their performance has a professional touch.
THE INDIAN EXPRESS, Chennai, July 6th 1997.

A bunch of characters brought together in typical Hercule poirot style. The reconstruction of the crime and elaboration of the motive. The red herring and the real culprit. All the ingredients in fact for the perfect murder mystery. ‘ LIGHTS ON’ ( Story, Dramatisation and Direction : Y.GEE. MAHENDRA) engages the attention of the audition but does not grip it. Humour and suspense are the two pivots on which Mahendra’s plays usually rest. In play after play, he has proved through perfect timing and quick repartee, the art of sustaining both. In ‘ LIGHTS ON’ the suspense, though not of the nail-biting kind, is well maintained. The play was directed competently, and the actors filled the bill.
THE HINDU- Chennai - August 1st 1997 .
     
"RAGASIYAM PARAMA RAGASIYAM" (Silver Jubilee Year Performance)
The play has been UAA'S strike force since the year it was innaugurated in 1975. Audio Cassettes of this play have spread all over the world and the jokes of this play are almost household topics. Like "Mouse Trap" in U.K.this play continues to enthral audiences even today - 22 years after it's innauguration and like "Mouse Trap", we have been performing this paly all along. In fact based on the audio cassette version of this play, several Tamil theatre groups have performaed it successfully in USA and other countries.
 
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