The Play

No one is significant, no one is insignificant
National School of Drama, Bengaluru Centre in collaboration with Department of Kannada and Culture, Government of Karnataka presents the celebration of the Golden Jubilee year of the first ever Jnanpith Award to Kannada and the Novel Malegalalli Madhumagalu, which is adapted into 9-hour long play “Malegalalli Madhumagalu” performed at Bengaluru performed overnight across 4 open stages. This play is adapted from Malegalalli Madhumagalu (1967), a 750-page magnum opus of Kannada writer Kuvempu, depicting the conflict between tradition and modernity in the 19th century.


Mahakavi Kuvempu’s Malegalalli Madhumagalu which was adapted into a play and performed at Rangayana, Mysuru in 2010, has added a golden chapter to the history of the Indian theater. This month long production under the direction of C. Basavalingaiah has attracted the attention of theater lovers across the nation. This attempt has rewritten the traditional stage concept and design of the theater. This theatrical magic has drawn crowds across all age groups. In addition, this production has also expanded the theater viewing experience of the audience to 180 degrees from the traditional 60 degree angle. The production has thus provided the audience with a new theatrical experience. The public who were unable to experience this unique and spectacular experience due to the non-availability of the tickets, have constantly requested the government to extend the shows. 

In this context, the Department of Kannada and Culture decided to organize the ‘Malegalalli Madhumagalu Play’ in the backdrop of Kalagrama, Bengaluru in 2013 to fulfill the wishes of the theater lovers. The second edition also saw 25 successful shows. Approximately, 25,000 people were a testimony to this successful production in Bengaluru city. Later, the play was once again staged in Kalagrama, under the  banner “Madhumagalu – Third Time” collaborating with National School of Drama, Bangalore Centre and Department of Kannada and Culture, Government of Karnataka. Now, a total of 20 shows are planned to be staged.

Now, for the 4th time, “Malegalalli Madumagalu” – 9 hour-long all-night play is here for you at Kalagrama, Bengaluru to mark the celebration of first ever Jnanpith Award to Kannada and the novel Malegalalli Madhumagalu. Let us enthrall ourselves in the unique experience of Male Nadu. Come along with your friends and family!

1. Adaptation: K. Y. Narayanaswamy

2. Stage Design: Shashidhar Adapa

3. Lighting Design: Nanda Kishore

4. Costume and Props: Pramod Shiggaon

5. Publicity: Muniraju

6. Makeup: Ramakrishna Belthur

7. Documentation: Thai Lokesh & Praveen

8. Music Execution: Gajanana T Naik

9. Music Director: Hamsalekha

10. Music Technical Execution: Puneeth Kumar

11. Website Maintenance : Viswa Keerthy S and Kiran M

11. Concept and Direction: C. Basavalingaiah

Malegalalli Madhumagalu

malegalalli-madumagaluRashtrakavi Kuvempu’s Malegalalli Madhumagalu is a 1967 Kannada novel which translates to “the bride in the mountains.”  The author discusses social and economic conditions, depicting the unique story of the life of people prevailed in the late 19th Century in the villages around the majestic Malenadu (Western Ghats) regions of Karnataka. The story revolves around characters of the then prevailing feudal system- Heggades/Gowdas (the landlords) and their slaves belonging to different castes at multiple locations with interlinking characters and their stories.

The novel is acclaimed and very popular among Kannada readers, and is often prescribed as one of the “must-reads” novels of Kannada language.