CHENNAI: You don’t have to be ‘little’ to enjoy a Little Theatre production. Always pushing the envelope, their ongoing international festival for young audiences has a silent theme running through the shows till July 11. No seriously, the theme is ‘silent’. Or almost.
Out of four plays that kicked off at the Museum Theatre last week, only one actually has any dialogue! “I think with kids, it’s more about the body language than words,” says KK, director of The R.E.D Bean Can. Saving the world in 2020 as the earth runs out of natural resources unfortunately does require a little ‘talking’. But the director says he focused a lot more on song, dance and mime to keep the kids in high spirits.
And from happy faces in the audience, you know they’re on to something with the ‘more action, less words’ formula, especially given the vocabulary constraints of a 10-year-old. There’s also a Sing Along (for tiny tots) and if you’re free on the weekend, you can also watch a non-verbal Puppet Fantasy, Hooray with performers from Korea.
However, if you missed a recently-staged (and completely silent) The Last Leaf with a bunch of eight-year-olds from Iran that made up the cast, definitely look out for the show the next time it rolls around. The characters, a cockroach, a cat, a dog, a man and a robot convey the message of peace. Playwright and director Mohammad Boroumand told us via his translator, “I can’t talk English. But if I could, I would never have created this play.” He added with a smile, “You don’t need words to break barriers, you need love.” And may we add, a liberal sprinkling of imagination. That’s the best part of being little, is it not?
Ironically, the bigger we get, the smaller that (our imagination) seems to get. Which is a shame, because dreams are completely free.
The Little Festival goes on till July 11 at the Museum Theatre, Egmore.