“Dora the Explorer” reaches out to children through the stage version with the promise to enthral them
The Nickelodeon brings its most loved character, Dora the Explorer, out of television to live theatre through “Dora Pirate Adventures”, a visual theatrical extravaganza, produced by Life Like Touring and executed by Live Viacom18. Luke Gallagher, the Creative Producer of several family and mainstream shows, from Australia, was here to launch Dora in the theatre avatar recently. “India is great and is ready for these stage shows,” said Luke who was contacted by Viacom18 to bring “Dora Pirate Adventure” to India. “We were thrilled, never hesitated to pick up this offer, as what we have heard and seen, I believe India is ready and this seemed fantastic opportunity for Indian families and children particularly to enjoy the characters they love so much seeing on television. It was a perfect fit.”
Dora the Explorer, created for educational purposes, is designed to teach kids to explore, communicate and overcome obstacles, with fun element intact. Will Dora help rural India children on developmental issues? Luke said, “Language of exploration and seeking to learn is universal. Children are encouraged to participate, interact and Dora calls upon their assistance, guidance and to help her complete the journey. Kids feel empowered. They feel that they are offering something. Life skills are very important and this way they are encouraged to speak up and be specific in feedback.” He added, “I am not sure how we can apply this format in parts of rural India as this programme was designed for international market, not specifically for India.” Luke can’t wait to start up the show and see how young mind reacts to this delightful first-time experience. “We don’t wait for kids instead we go to them and invite them to participate.”
Luke has a very high opinion about theatre and doesn’t want it to die. “Theatre is very different from watching television. It is easy to turn on TV sets but theatre requires great effort these days. You need to be willing to spend money and then go to theatre.” With the hope of cultivating future theatre-goers, Luke and his team have ensured that the show is of international standard with great special effects and outstanding music. The response so far has been positive and he has received requests from people of different parts of the country to host the show in their city, as children desperately want to see these things live. He thinks that Indian brands must develop and start giving theatrical experience of television shows.
When quizzed about the flood of products available based on the cartoon character like Dora bags, lunchbox shirts and pyjamas, Luke replied: “I think this happens because children desperately wants a T-shirt, doll of their favourite cartoon character closer to them, to adore it all the time. It is extremely powerful as they have extraordinary time with their cartoon characters and they feel happy to consume them,” adding that it would be better if these are economically priced.
(The show is slotted for 12 noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., daily till December 30 at Siri Fort Auditorium Complex.)