Art at the heart
The Kooks - Sunny Side Up, a production by Chennai-based theatre troupe The Little Theatre is coming to Bengaluru in a first attempt to perform elsewhere in India
BENGALURU: This weekend, children in the city get to experience a one-of-a-kind theatre show that tickles their funny bones. What characterises The Kooks - Sunny Side Up, the latest comedy theatre show from Chennai–based The Little Theatre (TLT), is movement and space. The hilarious clowning-based play, which is being staged at Prestige Srihari Khoday Centre for Performing Arts this weekend, features talented performers, plenty of slapstick humour and is the brainchild of actor and theatre director Krishnakumar Balasubramanian, aka, KK.
“It is a visually-spectacular show. And it’s got plenty of physical humour because it is something both a 70-year-old and a five-year-old in the audience can relate to. Little Theatre’s shows are always for the family, so we believe that if children are coming in, we also want the parents who accompany them to have a great time as well,” says KK, who is also the artistic director of The Little Theatre.
Having made his Tamil film debut with Kadhalaai alongside Prakash Raj in 2010, KK also went on to create and direct The Little Theatre’s annual Christmas Pantomime show Alice in iLand the following year. Being a practitioner of hospital clowning since 2015, KK wanted to pay tribute to professional clowns involved in relief efforts in war-torn and disaster-hit locations across the world, with his latest creation, The Kooks.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of food. For me, food is about building a community and people coming together. So I’ve felt it to be synonymous with what we do in theatre. I wanted to create a show that involves food and cooking in a kitchen. That was one of the basis for this idea. The other thought was to have clowns as characters in the play as a tribute to clowns who are doing incredible work in countries that are struck by war. A lot of people don’t even realise that professional clowns go in for relief work in places struck by war, famine or natural disasters. All of this goes unnoticed,” he adds.
Founded in 1991 by former advertising professional, thespian and writer Aysha Rau, TLT has been delving into innovative ways to encourage children in creative pursuits. Since 1995, TLT also began an outreach program offering workshops to nearly 200 underprivileged children each year.
However, due to various logistical reasons, TLT hasn’t staged shows in other Indian cities previously, despite taking them overseas. Ahead of the group’s first visit to Bengaluru, Rau says, “The audiences all over India are more or less the same. If you look at it, the Irish, the Italians and the Indians, all have the same sense of humour (laughs). So it doesn’t matter where you stage a performance. And so whether we play in Chennai or Bengaluru, I think it will appeal to the audiences.”
(The Kooks - Sunny Side Up will be performed on August 12, 13, at Prestige Srihari Khoday Centre for Performing Arts, on Kanakapura Road. Tickets, priced at `500, on bookmyshow.com)