Rehearsing a new play takes about three months. When it is ready, the Kattaikkuttu Kids love to perform it for the neighbourhood of the school and their own family. But also in other places, such as a village which has invited them, or in the big city of Chennai (Madras). The Kattaikkuttu kids have become quite famous. They get reviews in the newspaper and enthusiastic reactions from many places. They are invited to perform in villages and participate in cultural events.

Right now they can perform six plays. You can find them listed below.
Would you like to book one of them? That is possible. Please contact Hanne M.de Bruin at kattaiku@vsnl.com

Vilaiyattin Vilaivu = Game or Real?

Based on the Mahabharata and written by P. Rajagopal in 1992.
Duration: 2½ hours
Direction: P. Rajagopal
Costumes and props: Hanne M. de Bruin

The 5 Pandava brothers and their 100 cousins, the Kauravas, grow up together and are trained in the use of weapons, warfare and in the arts. The play tells about the playful tests, which the Pandavas and Kauravas have to carry out to prove their intellect and martial skills. Their teacher Drona, himself a famous archer, favours the Pandavas, and in particular Arjuna, above the Kauravas, because they are better in everything. This gives rise to jealousy between the Pandavas and the Kauravas - jealousy, which becomes the main cause for the later Mahabharata war.

Mayakkudirai =The Magic Horse

New play written by P. Rajagopal in 1996.
Duration: 70 minutes
Direction: P. Rajagopal
Costumes and props: Hanne M. de Bruin, A. Palani, Margot van Dam

The Magic Horse is a children's play in Kattaikkuttu style. It narrates the unexpected encounter between two school children and two aliens who have lost their 'sakti' or 'power'. In an attempt to recover it, the aliens and the children seek help from animals and men, but finally it is the Clown (=Kattiyakkaran) who shows them - unknowingly - the way to regain this lost quality.

The play-script of 'The Magic Horse' together with the story of Aiyappan has been published in India as a children book by Tulika Publications, Chennai.

Vilvalaipu =The Bending of the Bow

Traditional Mahabharata play
Duration: 6 hours
Short version: 1½ hours
Direction: P. Rajagopal
Costumes and props: Hanne de Bruin, A. Palani

Drupada, the King of the Panchalas, laments that he has not been able to fulfill his vow to marry his daughter Draupadi to Arjuna. He is afraid that the Pandavas are dead, because a fire has destroyed the lacquer palace in which they were staying. However, Drupada's astrologer assures the King that the Pandavas and their mother Kunti have escaped alive. Thereupon, Vyasa arrives. He informs Drupada that -if he wants his daughter to be married to Arjuna - he should organize a 'self-choice marriage' (svayamvara), challenging the kings of all the 55 countries to bend a mighty bow in order to win Draupadi's hand.

Draupadi's girl-friends praise the qualities of the suitors, but she is not interested in anyone of them. One by one the kings, including Duryodhana, try their hands at the bow and fail. Karna comes close but fails, too, because the God Krishna secretly severs the bow string, knocking him to the ground. The Pandavas set out to attend the ceremony disguised as poor Brahmans. Arjuna bends the bow and gains Draupadi.
Veriyattam = Possession

New play written by P. Rajagopal in 1994
Duration: 5 hours
Short version: 1 ½ to 2 hours
Direction: P. Rajagopal
Costumes: Hanne M. de Bruin, A. Palani

Veriyattam has as its theme the various aspects of 'veri', a Tamil word which literally means "possession" or "madness". In the play, "possession" expresses itself as desire for money, position, power, religious fanaticism, and, more basically, food, drink and sex. All these forms of "madness" prevent an equal sharing of material goods and impede living in harmony with each other and with nature.

The play features Kaliyugasuran, a shape-shifting demon, possessed by greed, who is an exponent of kali yuga (the present degenerate era in which we live). He has four ministers. The protagonists of Kaliyugasuran are the youthful queen Vempuli and her unsolicited advisor, Sinki, a wise and experienced Lady of the Kuravar clan.

The play is borne by the three Kattiyakkarans (=clowns), who represent the voices of the common men and women. They provide a running commentary on the behaviour and actions of the principal characters and guarantee a good laugh. Veriyattam emphasizes the heroic mood (vira rasa) that is typical of Kattaikkuttu. In addition, it showcases different aspects of Tamil village culture, such as a religious procession in which a traditional Terukkuttu is being performed and possession occurs, "Tiger dance" or Puliyattam and vigorous drumming.

Parkadal = The Milky Ocean

Concept: Hanne M. de Bruin
New play written by P. Rajagopal in 2002
Duration: 60 minutes
Direction: P. Rajagopal and Evelien M.A. Pullens
Costumes, props & puppets: Hanne M. de Bruin, Evelien M.A. Pullens, Christa ten Brinke, A. Palani and students of the Kattaikkuttu School

The Milky Ocean is a contemporary parody on an old creation myth. It tells a philosophical tale about a Siamese twin's quest for an individual identity and the division of wealth that two parties of fortune seekers beget when churning the Ocean of Milk. Who will get the rewards that emerge from the sea bottom? Who will get the beautiful woman with the jar full of happiness?
The play uses Kattaikkuttu and shadow puppetry.
Draupadi Tukil - Dice and Disrobing

Traditional play
Duration: 6-8 hours
Short version: 1 ½ hours
Direction: P. Rajagopal
Costumes: A. Pallani, Hanne M. de Bruin

Duryodhana invites Dharmaraja, the oldest of the Pandavas to a treacherous game of dice. Sakuni, who plays on Duryodhana's behalf, cheats Dharmaraja by using black magic and wins the game. Dharmaraja loses his armies, city, palace, himself and his four younger brothers and their common wife, Draupadi. Draupadi then asks the famous question: “Did Dharma bet me before or after himself? Only when this question is answered will I come forth.” Furiously, Duryodhana orders his brother Duhsasana to drag the woman into the assembly hall by the hair.
Duryodhana orders his younger brother Duhsasana to disrobe Draupadi in front of the enslaved Pandavas. She lifts her folded hands in a fervent prayer to Krishna for help. Krishna provides her with an endless quantity of cloth protecting her naked body. The unfortunate Draupadi vows that she will not tie her hair up again until she has smeared it with Duryodhana's blood and combed it with a rib taken from his body. The other 4 Pandavas follow with their own vows to kill members of the Kaurava-clan. Realizing the desperate turn of events, the blind and feeble Dhrtarashtra, father of the Kauravas, tries to undo the terrible vows. Draupadi insists on a final round of dice in which she plays herself directly with Duryodhana to undo all the earlier rounds. This final game she wins.