Monday, May 20, 2013

A hat-trick of plays!

We have always enjoyed watching live theatre or a play but were either too lazy to drive all the way to Chowdaiah Memorial Hall or Alliance Francaise ( where most plays in English are staged) or felt daunted by how much the tickets cost both of which discouraged us from turning into “theatre-buffs” as we would’ve very much liked! But ever since Rangashankara sprung up literally at a stone’s throw off from our house and  began to stage a wide range of plays both in English and regional languages on a regular basis, with cost of tickets easy on the pocket too, what else could we ask for! In fact, there have been times (before Abhay was born of course!), when I had nothing to do on a weekday evening as my husband was stuck in conference calls, I’d walk up to Rangashankara and watch the play of the day and return home just before dinner! Anyway, parenthood changes a lot of things and so did our penchant for plays as most shows at Rangashankara place a strict age limit of 8 and above. Though we do manage to catch a show or two leaving Abhay with my in-laws or with my parents, these are nothing compared to the hey-days of pre-parenthood freedom! :-) But whenever there is a play meant for children, I make it a point to take Abhay as I was once told by Arundhati Rao herself  that getting your kids to watch plays will only ignite their imagination further!


So this weekend saw a hat trick of children’s plays for Abhay, with two of them in Kannada staged by the Sanchari theatre group at Rangashankara and one in English put up by Rafiki  at Gambola children’s centre. The English play is titled “Fabulous Adventures of Aditi and her friends” which is a confluence of the first five books in the Aditi and her friends series by Suniti Namjoshi, was performed in a unique non linear format and the narrative unfolding with the aid of shadow puppets and live singing by the actors. We heard that there is another show playing at Jagriti two weeks later. Anyway, Abhay quite enjoyed all of them and liked the performance of “Narigaligeke Kodilla” (Why don’t foxes have horns?) the best! This is a play written by the most celebrated Kannada writer and poet “Kuvempu” and directed by Mangala.N and beautifully complemented by some foot-tapping live music along with fantastic performances by the cast of the Sanchari theater troupe. The same group put up a performance of the fairy tale of “Pinocchio”, translated and adapted to appeal to today’s children. So I read the tale of “Pinnochio” brought out by Omkidz publications. We all know the story of a talking wooden doll whose falls prey to temptation and cuts school to watch a puppet show only to have him land in trouble and later saved by a fairy.  But when you watch the characters come alive on stage with the aid of creative and colourful props and peppy music and not to mention Pinocchio’s expressions mirroring your little one’s when he makes those false promises in exchange for something he badly wants or fusses over bitter medicine or plays truant with school or lies to save his skin, believe me, this is a play not just for the little ones! :-)

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