‘Politics, religion hindering freedom of expression’ | Kochi News

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‘Politics, religion hindering freedom of expression’ | Kochi News


KOCHI: For 59-year-old Pradeep Roy, a life away from theatre is unthinkable. Roy began his career as a stage artist in the mid-1970s while he was an English literature student at Bharata Mata College, Thrikkakkara. In the 1980s he decided to don the cap of a director. In career spanning more than 35 years, Roy has directed more than 150 professional plays. On Thursday, Roy bagged the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi‘s award for the best director for his outstanding contribution to the field of professional theatre. “Theatre has given me everything. It has given me a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in my life,” said Roy, who considers veteran actor Rajan P Dev as his guru and guide.

Though he has won four state awards for the various plays he has directed, the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi’s award for the best director is the one close to his heart. “I was really shocked when Xavier Pulpattu, vice-chairman of the Akademi, informed that I have won the award. My mind was filled with multitude of emotions. I feel like my hard work has been rewarded. Above all, this award will stand as a testimony that my decision to pursue a career in theatre was a right one,” said Roy, who was busy attending phone calls and responding to the congratulatory messages he received following the award announcement.

Roy said that since childhood he was fond of watching plays. “My father was my biggest supporter. He always used to take me wherever plays were being staged. My father and I were regular visitors at Nayarambalam temple to see plays organized as part of festivals. I would be sitting in the front row and my father just next to me. The love for theatre was already in my blood,” he said.

Roy said that, as director, a play on Charlie Chaplain was the one he found most challenging. “I directed the play in the mid-90s. At that time, we had only minimal props and technology was not advanced. From finding the right cast to the final execution was tough,” said Roy.

He lists Savamtheenikal by Karthikeyan Padiyath as the play that moved him the most. “It tells the story of three people belonging to different faiths fighting over the body of a person, who lived as an atheist all through his life. I played the role of a youth who act as an intermediary between the three people and finally solves the issue,” said Roy. Roy is disappointed with the fact that socially relevant plays are vanishing from the stage. “I feel the interference of politics and religion are hindering the freedom of expression of artists and it should be stopped,” he said.



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