Akshayambara breaks 800 year old male dominated art form


Akshayambara is an award-winning play incorporating traditional Yakshagana dance-drama, to create a story that raises questions about female representation and male ownership. It will be performed on 5th & 6th October at London’s Southbank Centre and the Mac in Birmingham on Sunday 8th October 2017.

The performance imagines a reversal of roles in the popular Yakshagana plot of Draupadi Vastrapaharana from the Hindu epic Mahabharata. A male artist in streevesha plays the virtuous female Draupadi while in a tradition defying move, a woman is cast as the male Pradhana Purusha vesha of Kaurava. As they move from green room to stage, the boundaries of performance, reality and gender are blurred. Exploring the conflicts around tradition, gender, power and morality, the play confronts female representation in the male-dominated practice of Yakshagana, a traditional theatre form that has been performed only by men in India for the past 800 years.

Akshayambara was created through personal collisions that playwright and director, Sharanya Ramprakash experienced as a woman in the male dominated art form.

About Dramatist Anonymous (Dramanon)

Dramatist Anonymous (Dramanon) is a 15 year old theatre company that operates out of 3 cities – Bangalore, Hyderabad & Manipal. Dramanon Bangalore started in 2006 and has since staged ten critically acclaimed productions and more than 100 shows nationally and internationally. Dramanon Bangalore supports original writing, nurtures new talent and uses theatre tools in training and awareness. It has showcased its work at the Writer’s Bloc festival ‘12, Ranga Shankara Theatre festival ‘12 and ‘15, Jagriti New Writing festival ’14, Lucknow Sanatkada Festival ’16, Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) ’16, NINASAM Theatre Festival ’16 and Theaterfestival Schwindelfrei ’16, Mannheim.

Playwright and Director

Sharanya Ramprakash is a stage actor, director, playwright who works in both English and Kannada language theatre. She is one of the founders of Dramatist Anonymous (Dramanon) in Bangalore which she runs along with 3 other artists. Over the last 9 years she has directed, acted and produced several works that have had performances both nationally and internationally. She is a student of the Udupi Yakshagana Kendra where she trains under the tutelage of the legendary Guru Sanjeeva Suvarna. Sharanya is an INLAKS scholar ’14, India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) grantee ’15 and Theatertreffen International Forum ’16 scholar. Her latest work ‘Bangalore Bureau of Future Information’ was commissioned by the City of Mannheim, Germany for the 2016 edition of the Schwindelfrei Theatre Festival. Her most recent play ‘Akshayambara’ won the Best Original Script at the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) ’16.


Draupadi / Man: Prasad Cherkady
Kaurava / Woman: Sharanya Ramprakash


Playwright & Director: Sharanya Ramprakash
Assistant Director: Surabhi Herur
Choreography: Guru Sanjeeva Suvarna
Kannada Translation: Kruti R
Performance Design: Shubhra Nayar
Lighting Design: Swetanshu Bora
Padya composition: Guru Subramanya Prasad , Kruti R & Sharanya Ramprakash
Bhagvatha (Musician): Guru Subramanya Prasad
Chende (Musician): Guru Krishna Murthy Bhatt
Maddale (Musician): Rathnakar Shenoy
Violin: Pranav Manjunath
Production Controllers: Sridhar Prasad & Karan Shurpalekar
Stage Manager: Gowrav Gowda
Sound: Karan Shurpalekar\ Rohan Singhvi
Backstage: Bhavik Bhandari, Ashawath Singh Kunadi, Naveen Chhabria & Rutwik Upadhyayula
Artwork: Rupesh Patange

Akshayambara Schedule
Presented by Dramanon Bangalore (Theatre)

Thursday 5th October and Friday 6th October 2017, 7.45pm (running time approx. 90mins)
Blue Room, Southbank Centre
Tickets £15 (concessions 50% off)

Sunday 8th October 2017, 3pm & 7pm
Mac Birmingham
Tickets £11 (£9.90)

To book tickets visit www.indiaatuk2017.com

About the UK-India Year of Culture 2017

2017 has been declared the UK-India Year of Culture (India@UK2017) following the joint announcement in 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then-Prime Minister David Cameron of a bilateral initiative to mark the deep cultural ties and the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence; a commitment that was reiterated during Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to India in November 2016.

The Year of Culture is a year-long celebration of partnership and the long relationship between India and the UK. India and the UK, bound together for long through the inextricable threads of history, have been friends and allies who have facilitated mutual progress across culture, economics, commerce, and science. Both nations, strengthened by the uniqueness of their rich histories and cultural traditions, have a dynamic and culturally animated relationship.


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