Stories for everyone

Beautiful Props

The performance, ‘Until Life’, was staged by ‘Minnaminungukal Puppets Theatre Cie’ (meaning fireflies), a group based in Thrissur, Kerala. It was directed by Brigitte Rivelli from France.

The performance, an amalgamation of different stories, was derived from Hindu mythology, French literature and stories of La Fontaine. The stage was set with beautiful props and the actors were in colourful costumes. The play started with a black bird flying around the cosmos.

One planet catches its attention — the marvellous blue-green planet where it is said that water exists. The fact that this water allows the presence of life amazes the bird and it flies there to check out planet earth. After arriving on earth, the bird meets different creatures — colourful and big animals.

It is amazed by what it sees but what mesmerises it the most is water.  The power of the gushing water, which is able to sustain life as well as destroy it, makes the bird see how much of power it has on the world and the living creatures.

The play, alternated between puppetry and acting, and also had brilliant light effects and storytelling through shadows.  It had dialogues in both English and Malayalam. Director Brigitte Revelli said, “This idea came to me when I participated in the ‘Tree of Life’ festival in Chennai. I see the tree as the root of life and other living creatures.  With the lighting techniques and projection, I wanted to create a depth to show the planet and the cosmos.”

The stage was set in a completely different way with the object in focus being the large oval shape projecting the planet. The audience comprised parents with children of all ages. Even elders and teenagers were present to watch the show. The audience broke into fits of laughter with the comic scenes in the play.

The performance progressed to different stories derived from the olden times such as the story of the hen with the golden egg and the story of the sensible father who tricks his sons into working hard together and harvesting their crop after his death. There was something for everyone, be it a child or an elder.

It even had a segment of the famous ‘Bali Vijaya’ story. It ended with the black bird almost dying of thirst because of the pollution on earth which brings the viewer to think about the current situation of the earth and man’s horrid exploitation of nature. Manjukrishna, a homemaker said, “The puppet show was really good. The entire performance also was very sensible and meant for everyone.”

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