The Company
Audience
Characters
Rituals
Music
Kattaikkuttu is a traditional theater. It uses music, dance, songs and dialogues in the Tamil language, always accompanied by 3 musicians. The actors wear beautiful costumes, ornaments and colourful makeup. Tradition means that the theatre is handed down from one generation to the other by word of mouth.

Nobody knows exactly how old Kattaikkuttu is. There are no books that tell us when the first performance took place and what it looked like. But the theatre form has been in existence from very ancient times.

Kattaikkuttu performances take place in villages. The stage is a square piece of ground somewhere in the middle of the village. A performance is eight hours long! It starts at 10 pm and goes on until 6 am the next morning. Imagine how many songs and words you need to fill an entire night......

A good actor knows at least two 'big' roles of any play. He is on stage for 4 or more hours when he plays a 'big' role. There are more than 20 traditional Kattaikkuttu plays. That means that he knows 20 x 4 x 2 = 160 hours of text by heart.

Kattaikkuttu performances tell the stories of the Mahabharata. This is an old story of jealousy, power, war, virtue, loyalty, love and hatred. Because it is very, very long, the Mahabharata has been divided into episodes. Each Kattaikkuttu play shows a separate episode.