Flame of the Forest is inspired by the epic novel Sivakamiyin Sapatham, by Kalki Krishnamurti, the foremost Tamil novelist of the 20th century. It tells the story of different journeys in a war torn land in 7th century South India.
King Mahendra Pallava lives for the arts. He rules a kingdom with a vast army and is yet unprepared for combat. Mahendra wonders if he has failed in his duties as king. Can he save his people? Chalukya Emperor, Pulikesin II, is determined to possess resplendent Kanchi in South India. His rage explodes when his ambition is thwarted. Young general Paranjoti, filled with bloodlust, wins a war, but finds the taste bitter. He resigns from the army to become a wandering healer. Captured by the enemy and imprisoned in an alien land, the Pallava court dancer Sivakami thirsts for revenge. But nine years of solitary confinement transforms her into a seeker of other goals.
Set in Kanchi and Mamallapuram, the capital and the port city of the Pallava kings, the play unfolds the journeys of different characters with dilemmas, traumas, struggles and feelings frighteningly close to those of our own times.
“Produced by the fledgling JustUs Repertory, the play has the right mix of drama, sentiment, romance, action, suspense, colour and spectacle, music and dance, all of a high order. As a new genre in English theatre, it could very well widen the circle of audiences in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere.”
The Hindu, July 2007
"Flame of the Forest" brilliantly staged by JustUs Repertory, was a different experience altogether. The spectacle took the audience to a different time and space, and in the 100 minutes of stage time, the audience was transported to Kanchi, Mahabalipuram and the battlefield”
Sruti Magazine, Chennai 2007