7th December, 2017
Treasured stories as precious as gold,
Were presented in Panchatantra Retold,
Old Panchtantra tales were given a new look,
As if tales were seen coming out from the book!
Panchatantra retold is a play that will surely awaken the child inside you and let
you enjoy your ‘bachpan’ in the true spirit of Tifli Theatre Festival. The play had a
blockbuster start where the actors fought, held grudges and whined over childish
things like “I can’t act without my monkey costume!”, “Why did you eat my pre-
show lucky banana?” Talking of bananas, when asked, the director Ms Rebecca
Spurgeon explained that they actually have a banana before every performance!
The spectators couldn’t help but laugh at the actor’s childlike innocence. The
saying ‘Music unites all’ was beautifully portrayed when the actors settled their
feud by hugging each other as soon as the musical chords were struck.
The play is highly interactive. At almost every point in the play, children popped
up with their innocent comments and remarks. The acting skills of the actors are
so exemplary that the children are at times were confused and couldn’t help
asking “Is this a part of the play or reality?”
It’s just unbelievable how all the actors brought their roles to life without using
much props and costumes. The musical rhythm in the background seems to
mesmerize us and live each and every scene of the play. A very strong connection
is built between the audience and the actors as jackals, monkeys and the
narrators interact, talk and laugh with the kids. The beautiful blue waves created
in the last story of Panchatantra retold looked so real and tranquil that it seemed
as if we were watching the waves in a sea. Down this river when the crocodile
swims, the director is particularly moved. She says that this is her best moment as
this is what happens in life, things happen which we can’t control. The play also
had shadow as one of its theatre forms. The construction in the second story‘nut
bolt nut bolt nut bolt shift’ made me wonder, is construction that fun?
On asking the director, what inspired her to write this play, she said, “ I have
always been fascinated by Panchatantra Stories. These stories are like heirlooms
passed down from generations. So when I thought of directing a play, I felt that
Panchatantra Tales are just the one.” The director expressed that it was really
challenging for her to create a play for children involving shadows, objects and
other elements of their interest. I was astonished to know that the play has been
performed 23 times yet every time it’s a new one for the crew.
If you have not watched "Panchtantra Retold", you must watch it today at National Bal Bhavan, ITO