Clubhouse is taking over social media in a big way. The invitation-only, audio-only app is emerging as a popular space to host events, discussions, and more ever since it had a beta launch for Android early this month.

A group of theatre-persons in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala is all set to host a play on the platform on May 30.

“This is perhaps the first Malayalam play to be staged on Clubhouse. The app allows participation of up to 5,000 people, which is a big audience for a play. The ongoing tussle between the Government and social media platforms has seen more people flocking to Clubhouse. There have been events on the app that has had participation of 4,000 members. We did a rehearsal and the result was encouraging. It is like a radio play,” says Hazim Amaravila of Thiruvananthapuram-based Kanal Samskarika Vedhi, who is presenting the play.

The drama, Lakshadeepam, written and directed by Hazim, is based around the current controversy over the Union Territory of Lakshadweep following a slew of reforms announced by newly-appointed Administrator Praful Patel. “We want to express our solidarity for the people of Lakshadweep through this work,” Hazim adds.

The 25-minute production has four characters, played by Kannan Nayar, Santhosh Venjaramoodu, Anand Manmadhan, and Amal Krishna. The action is set in a newsroom with a news anchor and a political analyst, both supporters of the Government, voicing their opinions. They are interrupted by two voices from the island, who talk about their plight. The other two are unable to stop them.

“We are trying to incorporate music, as well, just like you have in radio plays. Theatre artists are going through a tough time with shows being canceled. So we are always on the lookout for spaces to perform. Although we are not physically together, we keep having fruitful discussions via phones and digital platforms,” says Hazim.

Kanal was formed in 2008 by the alumni association of the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts, University of Kerala. Among the major productions of the group are Veendum Bhagavante Maranam, Chimera, Swarnasimhasanam, Kimartham Draupadi, and Keni. The troupe was working on its new production when the second wave of the pandemic stalled the project.

Lakshadeepam will be staged on Clubhouse room at 6 pm on May 30 (


This article was originally posted on The Hindu on May 29, 2021, and has been reposted with permission. To read the original article, click here.

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