Not just skin deep

Delhi Public School, Electronic City, will stage the Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast with a contemporary message

December 20, 2023 08:54 am | Updated 08:54 am IST

Divyesh Bhandari the director of the play

Divyesh Bhandari the director of the play | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Beauty and the Beast, a Disney classic that goes beyond being skin deep, has fascinated audiences and we have seen varied perceptions of the same classic on stage and screen. Now, Imbroglio Productions (founded by Divyesh Bhandari) and Delhi Public School, Electronic City, collaborate to stage the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast Jr in Bengaluru.

Rehearsal shots

Rehearsal shots | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“It is an adaptation of the story of transformation and tolerance and we have conceptualised the play in such a manner that we tried to bring in a contemporary relevance to the classic. At the same time, we are keeping the classic intact and the quality of the production is professional. For instance, there is a song “Home” in the classic. We have attributed it as a tribute to the millions of children who have lost their homes across the world,” says Divyesh, who is also the director of the play.

The play is being staged to celebrate the 10th anniversary of DPS, Electronic City and there will be, “130 children on stage who will be singing, dancing and acting live on stage,” says Divyesh over the phone from his home in Electronic City.

He adds there will be “huge LED screens to show the towers and castles, crazy visuals, costumes, and sets. It’s a classic tale with a modern message. We assure you it will not be like watching just another school play, but rather a professional theatre production. The children have put in a lot of hard work along with the music director Amy Joseph and choreographers Simran Thakur and Gautam Pujari, who are veterans in their respective fields and have worked with children before.”  

Divyesh says he became hooked to theatre, thanks to his school, Sarla Birla Academy, “which brought out a musical every year. I was a science student and topped school grades, but impulsively decided to take arts when I passed out of class 10, to pursue theatre. My last school play as a student was Lion King which touched a chord in me and I knew I wanted to pursue theatre professionally.”

Divyesh studied theatre in the United Kingdom at the University of Leeds as well as music at the Trinity College of London where he finished his Grade Five exam before coming back to Bengaluru and starting Imbroglio.

“We started by working with adult actors, but were approached by so many schools and started working with the DPS chain. From there on we have been doing musicals and this is our 22nd production,” says the 31-year-old, who also affirms that he sustains himself through theatre. “There is abundant talent and scope all around us, we just need to tap into it. Schools these days have theatre as a serious subject in their curriculum, which opens up avenues for those wanting to get into theatre.”

Beauty and the Beast Jr will be staged at the Prestige Srihari Khoday Centre for Performing Arts on December 23 at 2pm and 7pm. Tickets on BookMyShow.

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