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PLAYTIME John Platt experiencing the culture of India
PLAYTIME John Platt experiencing the culture of India

An all round artiste, John Platt is in the city to conduct a theatre workshop

John Platt is not just another theatre person and that's pretty much clear when you see his diary with `My first trip to India- 2007' scrawled on the inner cover. It's what's inside that is really intriguing. The book has sketches of costume ideas for the characters of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Shakespearean play that he is currently working on for a theatre adaptation with the children of Sloka- the Hyderabad Waldorf School. The book features inspirational coloured sketches of costumes for Puck (the imp), the Duke and Duchess and the commoners in the play, as well as a couple to the landscape of Hampi done in muted black. And this is a side of him that perhaps lends itself to the artistic and creative energies that are required in theatre. Apart from working with the children of Std VIII and IX during the day, John will be holding a workshop in the evenings for adults, who can participate in the final production as well. The workshop will cover all aspects of theatre including stage layout, backstage, dancing, production and costumes. The primary focus of John's trip to India is to help the community and to work with the people and so participants at the workshop will not be charged a fee. "I didn't want to be living like a tourist here. This way I get to interact with the locals- the real people of Hyderabad."John's wife, Lise Platt is here to work with Sloka- the Waldorf School as an advisor and before the couple came to India, John corresponded with the school and offered to conduct a workshop with the children. "I'm editing the play to simplify it and make it easier and shorter for the children," he says.So far, the couple have spent six weeks in the country and the Kathakali dance of Kerala left John mesmerised. "I watched an all-night performance of the dance at Varkalam. It was so beautiful. "Kathakali originated at around the same time Shakespeare was writing his plays. But Shakespeare deals with people and daily life, while Kathakali depicts gods and goddesses." John has been involved with theatre for over 15 years and directs plays and workshops at Devon, where he stays. He says his love for theatre began as a little child, when he visited London and bought a Victorian toy. "I would play with it all the time and be fascinated by it. When I was in college, I got my first opportunity to help out with a production, and jumped at it."The workshop will begin on Wednesday, February 28 and will culminate with the production of A Midsummer Night's Dream that will be staged on March 18. To participate in this workshop or help out, contact 23545206/ 65994510/ 65994511 or 9246-333387 for further details.RVK

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