Stories coming alive...

On Stage

Stories coming alive...

A scene from The Golden Fish.

There’s no better thrill than watching a play with children. It takes one back through the memory lane while the old stories simply provide a whole new meaning. At the recent Children’s Theatre Festival, a popular theatre troupe Khilona, along with Indian Stage, presented three interactive plays at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

Khilona is a troupe performing exclusively for children and the young. Vinod Kumar Sharma, the brain behind Khilona, said the primary reason for the festival was to bring the inner world of theatre to the children. The three plays — The Golden Fish, The Rabbit King and The Clowns Cry For The Moon –- were simple folk tales that end with a moral, “Since most children are familiar with the stories, we make the plays very interactive making it easy for them to participate,” said Vinod.

Interestingly, the play begins by showing the children how a story is selected. The team also showed the children how each one is cast in a play.The day begins with The Golden Fish. Based on a poem titled, A Tale of the Fisherman and the Golden Fish by Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, the play revolved around an old fisherman who happens to catch a golden fish that talks.

The fish requests the old man to spare her life in return for anything he wants. Content with what he has, the old man does not ask for anything and allows the fish to go. But it is his greedy wife who starts asking for things that go beyond a limit. The play emphasises the fact that there is no end to desires and demands.

What follows is a suspense-filled combination of two world famous stories, Hare and the Tortoise and The Rabbit and the Lion, giving the play a universal and contemporary relevance.

The final play, The Clown’s Cry For The Moon, revolved around a lonely little girl who uses her imagination to fill her universe. All the plays were highly interactive and invited the audience to actually come on stage and perform with the artistes. “This not only helps the kids improve their self-confidence but also helps them understand the morals much better,” added Vinod. Having staged the plays in1988 in the City, Vinod said that they had incorporated a lot of changes but was giving the audience a better view of the changes.

Mrinal had seen the play when he was a little boy. “The plays sure did take me back in time. So many parts are still fresh in my mind and I can still see some new things to take back home with me,” he said.

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