The World Is The Stage
These school children are globe-trotting with their Indianised version of a fairytale.
New Delhi, June 6: Puss in the Boots set to Rajasthani and Punjabi music, enacted by 11-16 year olds? The play The Cat Dances
Boom-Boom (Billi Nachi Thumak Thumak), to be performed by Ryan Childrenâ€™s Theatre Group at the 20th International Theatre Festival in Herbe (Switzerland), obviously has a kindergarten theme. Not without a reason though, the schoolâ€™s cultural and creative director, Utkarsh Marwah, assures us. â€˜â€˜Why do you want to show the world that India is a third world country facing problems of electricity and water?... The play has a fun theme because it is to be showcased on a world stage amidst various other countries. So why not portray our country in a rich cultural light,â€™â€™ he replies. He recalls: â€˜â€˜When we performed in Japan, a woman asked if we still traveled on elephants.â€™â€™
After the performance in Herbe on June 11, the 12 young actors will also put up the Hindi play (with an English narrative) at Professional Theatre an der Wilhelmshohe, Lingen (Germany) and the 45th International Childrenâ€™s Festival, Croatia, this month. The theatre group has also performed in France, Pakistan and Morocco.
The Indianisation of the narrative is evident by the portrayal of characters in colorful Rajasthani costumes. The story canters around three brothers. While the first one gets a horse and the second a donkey, the youngest one gets a small black cat and so becomes the butt of ridicule by the others. â€˜â€˜Itâ€™s about how this cat is a boon for her master, that itâ€™s not the color and size but the confidence that matters,â€™â€™ says Marwah. The role of the cat is played by 11-year-old Akshaya Raman. Says his 14-year-old co-actor Lakshya Gupta: â€˜â€˜Iâ€™d like to pursue acting as a
career and theatre at school level is a good beginning.â€™â€™