About Us


The Kala Chetena Kathakali Company is the leading touring Kathakali organisation outside of India.

The group was founded in 1987 by Kathakali make up specialist - Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar and Kathakali actor Kalamandalam Vijayakumar to bring the remarkable art and culture of Kathakali to the UK.

The 1994 the organisation became a registered charity and limited company managed by an elected Board of Directors.

The Company aims to increase access, awareness, understanding and enjoyment of Kathakali whilst respecting its ancient traditions.

We work with highly trained and experienced international artists to deliver exciting, innovative and collaborative work through performances, workshops, lectures and exhibitions of the stunning costumes.

We tour locally, nationally and internationally to celebrate the very best of Asian storytelling.

We are committed to making Kathakali accessible to all regardless of age, ability, cultural background and location. Over the last 28 years we have taken Kathakali to thousands of people from the Isles of Scilly to the Highlands of Scotland.

We are a touring theatre company and take Kathakali to the heart of the communities from inner cities to the small remote villages.

We have featured several heritage projects, kindly by the Heritage Lottery Fund, exploring the history of the Mudras (the sign language used to tell the story), the historical links between Celtic and Asian stories, how traditions migrate when people travel, how the Kathakali costumes represent specific characters and how the clothes we wear represent who we are.

We aim to embrace equality, accessibility and cultural diversity through our work and to nurture the ancient traditions of Kathakali for future generations to enjoy.