Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Pied Piper returns, this time in Malayalam


kathleen mulligan in mazhavillu workshop 2010 (1)

KOCHI: The Pied Piper of Hamelin is returning, this time in a Malayalam version. The new play by Mazhavillu, the children's theatre group in the city, is based on a Kannada poem by Kuvempu, which has a plot similar to the famous fairy tale.

The text for the play ‘Bommahalliyile Kinnari Yogi' has been translated by theatre person Chandradasan, who is directing the play as well. The actors for the play have been selected from the five-day summer theatre camp organised by Mazhavillu from April 1.

“We have selected 36 children from the camp. The age of actors range from 6 to 16 and a majority of them have no prior experience in theatre,” said Mr. Chandradasan. He had done the Kannada theatre adaptation of the poem for a children's group in Shimoga last year. The story happens in a village on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. “A cross-section of Indian rural society is depicted in the play. The play is presented in a wide canvas and has a number of characters. I have brought characters like animals in the village – like a silent presence of a dog and a cat, whereas the original text has only rats,” he said.

mazhavillu workshop10

The play has been so structured that till the protagonist, Kinnari Yogi, is presented, it is just fun and frolic. After the arrival of the yogi, the play becomes musical. This has been so designed to keep the children engaged all through the play and make the performance a celebration for them, the director said.

“The rehearsals will have theatre games and some serious theatre exercises to introduce children to the basics of theatre,” he added.

Mazhavillu, based at Changampuzha Park, Edappally, has been staging regular plays by children and has become a major mooring point for children with a flavour for theatre. The best part of activities in Mazhavillu is that while new faces are coming in every year, members from senior camps move on to shoulder other responsibilities related to play production.

The play will be presented at Changampuzha Park in the first week of May.

Courtesy ; The Hindu,  26 may 2010