report on Malayala Manorama on staging of Poothapattu - a rehersal scene

Edasseri's well-known poem Poothapattu, ever since its publication in 1953 (Mathrubhumi Weekly April 19, 1953), has been adapted in a number of stages in the form of vocal rendering, various dances, shadow dancing, drama, etc. An audio cassette is available featuring the vocal rendering by V.K. Sasidaran. Now the Kathakali maestro Kalamandalam Balasubrahmanian (Head of Department, Kathakali North Kerala Style, Kerala Kala Mandalam, Cheruthuruthy, Kerala) has arranged the Poem in Kathakali. The premiere of the show was held in Guruvayoor Temple on 22nd July 2005. Prof. Balasubrahmanian has himself played the role of Pootham (the Poltergeist), who, taking the form of a pretty woman, lures youngsters and sucks their blood and makes a scrumptious dinner of them. The story has it that the Pootham once meets the boy-child Unni and gets enchanted by his childhood charm. She somehow detains him and plays with him. This paves way to an encounter with Unni's mother. The events that follow changes the Pootham's mind and she turns herself to a harmless creature. The pretty woman has been played by Mathur Muralikrishna. Well-known artist Sasikala takes the role of the mother Nangeli and her daughter Sruthi that of Unni. Drums are handled by Kalamandalam Narayanan Namboothiri and Kalamandalam Sasi and the poem has been set to Kathakali tune by Kalamandalam Rajeev.

Prof. Kalamandalam
C.M. Balasubrahmanian

Prof. Balasubrahmanian
as Pootham in Poothappattu

as Nala in Nalacharitham



english pages

poem recitals

poothapattu story



A report in the Mathrubhumi Daily on staging of Poothapattu