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Children impress with their commitment

"The brave little tailor" ... a lively production. — Pic. by S. Thanthoni

A SUMMER camp that Krishnakumar (KK) conducted a year ago evolved into Landing Stage, the youth wing of Masquerade, the Performance Group and provided opportunities for 10 to 20 year olds to gain experience and hone their skills in theatre practice.

Last week, Landing Stage mounted ``Brave Little Tailor," its first independent venture. KK says he merely stood by as promoter and guide.

The play, based on the popular children's story from the Brothers Grimm, was scripted by the group and directed by Aruna Ganesh Ram, also from the group.

The play enacted by the young and the older children was designed as a children's play and targeted school children.

When the facts are put in perspective, one is forced to acknowledge the quality of the production and the levels of achievement by the young. The young actors communicated a sense of freedom and joy on stage.

The production was well designed and carefully choreographed and very well rehearsed. With ease they threw their voice to the last row of the Alliance Francaise Auditorium. Every actor, irrespective of the part played, brought his or her best to the role.

The production was colourful and lively and in that respect the costumes deserve a special mention. They were well researched and executed. The sets were professional in design and execution and were very beautiful.

The tailor's home and the palace were evoked by four well painted-on flats on wheels, which turned around to create location. The third scene was a clearing in the forest. It had its trees and rocks and even a little brook.

The lighting design was sensitively worked and executed. The sound track was carefully put together and the music very lively and catchy. Many familiar and catchy tunes were put to good use. The backstage crew and the front of the house also need special mention for their meticulous functioning.

The attempt at the hello-there-boys-and-girls pantomime touch during the five-minute intermission didn't go down too well with the audience.

Another point the scriptwriters could keep in mind is that even very young children are smart and sharp and in many ways, very mature in their assessment and understanding and well able to comprehend complexity and it is really not necessary to dumb down the script for them.

It was most reassuring to sit through the tenth performance of the ``Brave Little Tailor." If Landing Stage will continue to stay as focussed, it will in time become a valued part of the city's theatre scene and a feeder group to the older established groups.

The children, unfortunately, had to perform to an audience who trickled in late, to mobile phone users who would leap up and out to answer calls and to doting members of family, armed with an assortment of cameras who moved about the auditorium space, unmindful of the struggle that goes on and off the stage to present a performance that is committed to quality.


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