Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam | Possession (Veriyattam), Kattaikkuttu
Profile of Group & Production
Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu

The Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam, or Kattaikkuttu Youth Theatre School, provides a group of thirty rural, underprivileged children the possibility to combine traditional, in-depth training in the Kattaikkuttu theatre with basic education. The school encourages its students to explore their own artistic and intellectual abilities and to turn them into professional skills. This is the first time that girls participate in professional Kattaikkuttu training.

On the occasion of the Kuttu Festival 2005 the young students of the school (5-15 years) will perform three novel plays written by their principal Kattaikkuttu teacher and director, Perungattur P. Rajagopal.

Possession (Veriyattam)

1 hr 30 mins
P. Rajagopal (script) and Hanne M. de Bruin (costumes)

Veriyattam is about “veri”, a Tamil word which literally means “possession” or “madness”. In the play “possession” takes different forms and expresses itself as greed for money, position, power, religious fanaticism, and, at a more basic level, excessive desire for food, drink and sex. All these forms of “madness” tend to obstruct an equal sharing of material goods and impede living in harmony with each other and with nature.

The play features Kaliyugasuran, a by-greed-possessed, shape-shifting demon and an exponent of kali yuga (the present degenerate era in which we live) and his four ministers. The protagonists of Kaliyugasuran and his henchmen are the youthful queen Vempuli and her unsolicited advisor, Sinki, a wise and experienced Kuratti or Lady of the Kuravar clan. The play is borne by the three clowns (kattiyakkarans), who represent the voices of the common man and woman. They provide a running commentary on the behavior 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 religious possession occurs, “Tiger dance” or Puliyattam, and vigorous drumming.

Veriyattam was conceived as an all-night play. It will be condensed to a one and a half hour performance for the Kuttu Festival 2005.


Varamun, “Foresight” (female clown) - P. Suganya
Vantupotu, “Just in Time” (male clown) - P. Murthi
Vantupin, “Always too Late” (male clown) - K. Velayutham
Kaliyugasuran, Demon of the Kali age - R. Devan
Kutti Kaliyuagasuram, “Little Kaliyugasuran” - S. Bhubaneswari
Kaliyugasuran's ministers - S. Aiyappan, M. Doraisami, J. Loganathan, S. Rajesh
Sinki, Lady of the Kuravar clan - M. Greenkumar
Queen Vempuli - S. Tamilarasan
Female guards - V. Bhavani, R. Mahalakshmi, K. Saraswati, P.Thilakavati
Sepoy, insipid male-guard of the Queen - A. Dillibabu
Kuttu Vattiyar, leader of the Kuttu company - K. Radhakrishnan
Vedan, male Terukkuttu character - S. Gobinath
Valli, female Terukkuttu character - S. Tamilarasi
Villager possessed by Mariyamman - V. Ramamurti
Villager possessed by Perumal - R. Kumaresan
Tiger Kaliyugasuran - M. Anbarasu


The Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam
16/31 Selva Vinayakar Koil Street, Vedasala Nagar, Sevilimedu Post
Kanchipuram 631502, Tamilnadu
Tel: +91 (0)4112-237517, 237525
E-Mail: kattaiku@vsnl.com
Web site: www.kattaikkuttu.org

back to programme