The Little Theatre’s Atita!... into the unknown, a science fiction production, transported children to another world

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, please take your seats. The show is about to begin.” As we take our seats, a commotion around us draws our attention. Suddenly, hordes of school children file in, chattering excitedly about the upcoming show. As the lights are dimmed, a hush of silence falls over the hall The appearance of a single spotlight on centre stage brings the children to their feet, ear-bursting screams fill the air. Soon dialogues start bursting through the speakers. “Captain, I see it! ATITA!” The actors don’t hold back, showing off their physical and verbal antics on stage. From the moments of drama suspended on the possibility of mutiny and betrayal to side-splitting comedy, like when the lights of the spaceship suddenly fade and the character Mani states in local slang, “Sir, current pocha ingiyum?!” the play holds everyone’s attention.

Directed and scripted by Krishnakumar Balasubramanian, the one-hour play complete with foot tapping numbers and high octane action, is taken to the next level by innovative futuristic sets and strobe lights and smoke machines that fascinate you.

The production shows off the talents of the cast (Prashanth Oliver, Sunny Abraham, Krishna D Ganapathi, Jagadeesh Kanna, Vikas Rao and Mridhula Sekhar) and the crew and displays the refreshing sensibilities of this local theatre joint.

The Little Theatre, brainchild of Aysha Rau, was started as a way for children to escape the everyday stresses of the education system. Judging by the palpable enthusiasm of the students that attended, it’s evident that her idea hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Children aged eight to fourteen, coming from five different schools, made up the bulk of the audience, swarming the auditorium with unbounded glee, all eagerly awaiting the mystery behind the screen. And the production didn’t disappoint, delivering what it promised: a sci-fi novelty with a Chennai twist.