“I have spent more time on stage than at home,” says Y Gee Mahendra. The leading dramatist and much-loved comedian of the south is returning to Mumbai after a 15-year gap to take part in the three-day Tamil Drama Festival, ‘Nadaga Vizha,’ along with his theatre troupe, United Amateur Artists.
The festival, which began on Thursday at Fine Arts Society, Chembur, has been organised by non-profit organisation Powai Fine Arts.
The UAA will be performing three of its most popular comedies, beginning with ‘Soppana Vaazhil’ at 7.30 pm on Thursday, ‘Paritchaikku Neramachu’ on Saturday and ‘Kasethan Kadavulada’ on Sunday at 7.00 pm.
“These are my latest plays that have been greatly appreciated all around the world, and I have not brought them to Mumbai for a long time,” Mahendra explains.
The UAA, which was established by his father, Y G Parthasarathy in 1952, is considered to be one of the most travelled theatre troupes, having performed in many countries, from Nairobi to Switzerland. The troupe’s plays are well-known for balancing powerful social messages with comedy. Mahendra says,
“Even when I have a vintage play, I draw in elements from current scenarios, so that modern audiences can empathize with the characters. The plays that I performed in the 70s are not the same plays that I perform today. However, what they have in common is a solid foundation of a story, and good, healthy comedy.”