CHENNAI: Phoenix MarketCity, Velachery will come alive on Friday and Saturday when Australia’s Polyglot Theatre will perform their interactive play ‘Ants.’“The play premiered in Australia in 2014 and has toured several countries like the United States of America, Brazil, Poland and Singapore,” says the producer of the play, Rainbow Sweeny.
Polyglot Theatre is among Australia’s leading creators of interactive and participatory theatre, performing in India in association with the Australian government.“Children respond differently in different places and while some respond more quickly than others, we have noticed that children everywhere have responded very well to the play because they know that the ants have a job to do and they can help the ants do it,”she says.
The group will get the ants, played by three performers, to attract children towards them using giant pieces of breadcrumbs to engage them in a fun learning activity that will help enhance their motor skills. Set amidst the chaos of the mall, it will also illustrate the human desire for order.The play is ideal for children between the ages of 1-13 years as it is an investigation into the nature of work and children’s relationship with their environment.
“There are no instructions in the play. Children will have to see what is going on and respond accordingly,” Rainbow says. “We have performed for children across different geographies but we find that they are so similar because everyone knows ants and they immediately connect with the play. You don’t need to understand much more than that because how ants operate is universally known.”
She expressed her excitement to watch how passers-by and shoppers in the mall would react when they see the play in motion.“It is extremely appealing when you have an audience that isn’t prepared for the play and just happens to comes across it,” she shares. “That is a great way to come in contact with art. This is less a traditional play and more of a roving installation. One child said, ‘I didn’t see the play, I was the play,’ and that is probably the best way to put it,” she adds.
(The play will be staged at Phoenix MarketCity, Velachery on November 23 at 6 pm and 7 pm and on November 24 at 3 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm and 7 pm. Registration can be done on Book My Show.)