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Boy with a Suitcase returns to Ranga Shankara

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A journey of stories: As Boy with a Suitcase returns to Ranga Shankara, director Andrea Gronemeyer says Bengaluru is the play’s real home

Bengaluru is the real home for Boy with a Suitcase says German Theatre Director, Andrea Gronemeyer, at Ranga Shankara, where she is busy with rehearsals. “We have had 125 shows worldwide including London, Berlin, Oslo and Copenhagen, but Bengaluru shows in India mean a lot to me as we have the best audience here,” says Andrea.

As a part of Ranga Shankara’s 15th anniversary celebrations, Boy with a Suitcase, a Ranga Shankara and Schauburg production is written by Mike Kenny with Kirtana Kumar as the associate director. The play features MD Pallavi, BV Shrunga, Konarak Reddy, Coordt Linke, Simone Oswald, David Benito Garcia and Nikolai Jegerow. The play has original live music.

The play dealing with migration has been staged to critical acclaim around the world, says Arundhati Nag, Founder of Ranga Shankara. “The play is evergreen, and I am glad the team is here to celebrate our 15th birthday,” says Arundhati.

Boy with a Suitcase returns to Ranga Shankara

The play tells the story of 12-year-old Naz, who undertakes a journey to be with his sister in London. He carries only a small suitcase and a treasure of stories with him. Like his hero, Sindbad, Naz must travel half-way around the world to reach London. On the road, Naz meets Krysia, a young girl, who helps him find safe passage. With Krysia’s help and his stories, Naz finds his way to his sister.

“A gripping narrative, Naz’s journey also throws a spotlight on the real dangers faced by children who have to migrate alone today. One would imagine there is not much room for laughter in this production but Kenny has elevated this story with humour and spirit,” says Andrea, who looks back at three decades of theatre.

The production first came about in 2009 when Andrea and Arundhati explored an international subject that could travel to every kind of audience. “We took a year to decide on the subject and with my research I zeroed in on Kenny’s book as it fits our visualisation of immigration. The play is based out of London, as Mike is one of England’s leading writers specialising in young people’s theatre,” says Andrea. “We have retained most of the original, and have introduced music by Coordt Linke, Konarak Reddy and MD Pallavi,” she adds.

Boy with a Suitcase returns to Ranga Shankara

Speaking of the live music, Andrea says, Pallavi not only plays three different roles, she also sings on stage. “Audiences in Germany were enchanted to listen to her,” says Andrea.

The cast consists of actors from India, Germany, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Luxemborg, Belarus and Taipei. “We have had the same crew for 10 years, except for brief holidays taken by actors. So that is also a record as we hardly find productions with the same crew for so long, worldwide,” says Andrea adding that, “our hero, Shrunga has grown up with the team and has more stories in his suitcase now.”

Boy with a Suitcase is on December 13 (7.30 pm) and December 14 (11 am). Tickets are available on bookmyshow.com and Ranga Shankara Box Office.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 4:40:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/theatre/boy-with-a-suitcase-returns-to-ranga-shankara/article30295306.ece

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