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4th December, 2017

TIFLI 2017 Theatre Commentators - Day 2
Read and enjoy reviews, interviews and experiences sharing by young children un-covering TIFLI 2017 International Theatre Festival for Young Children

Tifli 2017, in its’ fourth year running, will have over 45 theatre performances from India and aboard; 7 workshops for Children, Teachers and Theatre professionals; a Painting Competition for children and a panel discussion on Theatre and Young Audience on the opening day. The week-long extravaganza is surely an event for which you should mark your calendars. Organized by ASSITEJ-India, the Fourth International Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences – ‘Tifli 2017’ will be on at National Bal Bhavan, New Delhi from 3rd to 9th December 2017.  While Delhi remains the main festival city, Mumbai and Hyderabad play host to satellite festivals. The focus country in Tifli 2017 is France.


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Grandfather's House - Taking trips down memory lane by Adaa bani

4th December, 2017

The first play that I watched in Tifli was a play from France called Grandfather’s House by Cie Akselere, a theatre group based in France. It was about remembering and presenting, through images and sounds, the experience of being in the Grandfather’s house. The play was simply amazing.

They used shadow puppetry instead of drawings to show the animals – they carved the animals out of some cardboard, and then to show them, they shone a torch through the carved cardboard and the animals showed up bright and clear. They added the sounds of the animals to add to the effect. One thing that really intrigued me is that the director’s grandfather (for it really was about someone’s grandfather) made clocks, and that one of the clocks he had actually made was used in the play! In the clock, parts of a dollhouse had been set up to look like a mini model of the director’s grandfather’s house. The artwork done for the dollhouse was exquisite. It was really pretty. One thing that they emphasized in the play was the pebbles around the grandfather’s house. So you always knew when someone was coming because you could hear footsteps on the pebbled path.

I had a chat with one of the actors. I asked her how children in France reacted to this play and also whether children in France were a better audience than children in India. Non! was the reply. She said that Indian children were definitely better as they were much quieter and more attentive. She said that in France, in most of the schools they performed in, the children were constantly murmuring and whispering and they weren’t able to perform peacefully! Another question that I asked her was what made the group think of the topic for the play. She said that they tried thinking of a topic that would interest children. Then the director came up with the idea that if they had to interest children, why not take a trip down memory lane? I think that was a really good idea, don’t you?

I recommend this play to people of all ages who like taking trips down memory lane!

How Cow Now Cow - What a funny name for a play by Utkarsh Chauhan

4th December, 2017

What a funny name? Almost as funny as the play itself, a play about a cow named Rosama, a fish named PilPil, a dog named Kumbu, a rooster named Rambo, a pig named Yakudu and a farmer named Shane Gabba and their adventures. The three actors described the story with the help of shadow puppetry and showed animals with common objects such as a mop to make a dog, a night-lamp cover to make a pig and a hot water bottle for a fish and represented the cow by a puppet which looked really life-like especially when it mooed and chewed.

I liked the play very much and enjoyed it thoroughly, especially the surprise element of the play. I would say that the play is in the comedy genre and is for the age groups 3+. The play has a lot of humour such as the cow flying on an aeroplane after getting through the ticket check counter and the security check including going through an X-ray machine. The actors did a really good voice-over of the sounds of the animals and the noises were quite realistic.

To get an opinion of how other people felt about it, I interviwed some of the audience who had come for the evening show. Before the play I asked some B.El.Ed students as to why they had come there and after the play I asked a nine year old and one of the festival organizers for their reactions to the play.

One of the B.EL.ED student who was watching a play for the first time said  “I found out about Tifli from our theatre sir. I have come here as I want to see natural drama and think that drama brings out natural feelings.” The Nine Year Old Girl said that she loved the puppets and liked the funny and surprising way that the actors started the play. Mr. Wamiq Abbasi, one of the organizers of the Tifli festival had to say “I liked the play very much. The actors were flexible and had good timing and coordination. They were also dealing with different mediums of stage and the synchronization was really good.”

So in short, the play was good for the audience who like to get cracked up.

Balancing Act - A world full of magic and fun by Siddharth Kalra

4th December, 2017

The second day of TIFLI 2017 started with a lot of suspense and expectations. When asked what children were expecting from the show, some kids wanted Akshay Kumar and others some horror. Finally in the end, all of them were satisfied even if they did not get what they wanted as they got so much more. The balancing act took all of us into another world full of magic and fun.

There were five characters that interacted with the audience and made us feel like their own. They used gibberish and hardy any props but we all understood because of their amazing acting. They carried us into another world with their short stories that were amazing beyond compare. This act showed the children a great realm of possibilities. This helped some of them learn that society might be judging but in drama they can be themselves and explore different windows. Come to TIFLI 2017 and see 100s of windows of opportunity open for you. Enter a new mystical world with TIFLI 2017 and have fun.

Balancing Act by Kaasni Khalil

4th December, 2017

Today was the second exciting day of mine in Tifli Festival at Bal Bhawan. I saw an act this afternoon called as the Balancing Act by the group called IAPAR from Pune. This act was acted by five people. The play started when the five actors entered the stage wearing joker nose and they started interacting with the young audience (school students). The play was about different scenes we see in our daily life as a child or an adult. The reaction of the students was quite interesting - they enjoyed the play, but said that sometimes they were bored in between. The children watching the play also told me that the five people were very funny. One thing that was very much common in all the scenes of the act was that if the scene was happy, so the actors would smile on a certain song and if the scene was emotional the actors would have a blank face on the same song. So, it’s truly said that TIFLI takes you to a different world.

Grandfather's House - Taking trips down memory lane by Kaasni Khalil and Siddharth Kalra

4th December, 2017

Today we watched the play ‘The grandfather’s House’. This is an amazing play directed by Madame Collate from France. There were two people acting while the other two in the team were managing the music and lights. Grandfather’s house is about Madame Collete’s time with her grandfather when she was 3 years old. Madame Collate wanted to do drama for children and she also likes shadow as they are simple but entrap the audience into the story so she used shadows in the play. The background of the play is amazing and brings the play to life. She used shadows though illuminating cardboard cut-outs. As she said she used shadows because “I love it when the audience go ooh”. The various technical factors like light, sound, props and shadows were a huge part of the play.

The story is about how grandmother passes away and a new lady named jeane comes into grandfather’s life. They make a very simple story mystique and fascinating with their props. Some of their props like their pram are from Madame Collate’s mother- in law when she was a child. If you have not watched the play, you must watch it at least once.



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