The Sankula Theatre Institute presented a rich and colourful fantasy play — Narnia, based on ‘The Magic Wardrobe’ by C S Lewis recently at KH Kalasoudha. It was performed for the fourth time by an institution that has staged 10 productions. Directed by Ashok Nittur, the play was meant to provide a platform for the artists to showcase their talent and to enthuse young children such as themselves. With colourful costumes and simple set designs, the play brought a smile to every face in the audience.
Founder, Ashok Nittur, is trained from Ninasam Theater Institute and is dedicated to extracting the hidden talent of children, in his own unique way. Principal, Ismail Gonal is a well known music director and composer, lyricist and holds a post graduate degree in Zoology. He has composed more than a hundred Kannada audio albums in addition to one composed for Narnia. V Halappa, script writer, has interspersed the story with comical deviations. Many eminent artists such as Professor Putturaya, actor and dancer Sridhar, poet and dramatist Nizar Ahmed, Former President of Nataka Academy Marala Siddappa, Usha Dattar and Minister S Ramesh, among others, have contributed effectively to this organisation. The Institute also conducts summer workshops, tele-acting, seminars, group discussions and festivals to promote the performing arts.
The story traces the journey of four young children, Lucy, Peter, Edmund and Susan into the world of Narnia through an enchanted wardrobe. It revolves around the prediction of four saviours, who ultimately save Narnia from the evil White Witch. Fictional characters such as Beaver, his wife, Aslan the lion and Tumnus (the faun) create a world for children and have been modified in this production to include light humour. The cast comprised of Ajith, Amrutha, Manasa, Divyashree, Prajwal, Srikrishna, Disha, Samana and several other. Little Jyothsna, who played the role of Beaver said “I had a lot of fun during this production. I got over my stage fear and can now be myself in front of an audience.” With Kishan and Ananthkumar on the keyboard, Supraja and team on the vocals, Kamath on the rhythm pad, the show turned out to be a humorous endeavour and paved the way for many such young artists.
Whether perfect or not, Ashok Nittur’s objective is to mould children and encourage them to feel comfortable onstage. “That”, he said “is the only way to bring out a child’s artistic flair”. A little more professional work, effort and experience can surely lead the children on renowned pathways, giving them a sense of pride and recognition.