Clowning performance for children and adults explores the meaning of treasure 

Treasure Hunt by Nampkampani, a clowning piece for anyone above the age of seven

Published - June 07, 2024 09:00 am IST - Bengaluru

A scene from the play Treasure Hunt.

A scene from the play Treasure Hunt. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Clowning is one of the many art forms that has made its entry into the Bengaluru theatre circuit over the last few years. Though the city has a small number of professional clowns, they have managed to join theatre groups in the city and create performances for children and adults.

One such performance is Treasure Hunt by Nampkampani, a clowning piece for anyone above the age of seven, to be performed as part of Aha! Sundays, at Ranga Shankara, J.P.Nagar, on June 9, at 11 a.m.  

Treasure Hunt is the story of two clowns and one treasure. The artistes eventually discover who gets the treasure, what is inside this treasure chest, and more. The piece is a simple plot with a lot of twists and turns and addresses an essential question: “What is treasure?”. Directed and performed by Surabhi Vasisht, she is accompanied by Shashank Rajshekar, who also handles production for the play, and Sumeet Borana, a theatre maker and one among the very few professional clows in Bengaluru.  

Opened at the Aha! International Theatre Festival for Children, 2022, the play is making a comeback in Ranga Shankara after close to two years.

Opened at the Aha! International Theatre Festival for Children, 2022, the play is making a comeback in Ranga Shankara after close to two years. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Speaking to The Hindu, Surabhi says that through this play she wanted to break the myth on clowning performances just being a funny piece. “When we started making this piece, the first thought that came to our mind was how do we make our audience feel moved by the story rather than just looking at it as a funny clowning piece? Clowning in this play is an art form that has been used to arrive at the major question that we ask at the end of the play: what is a treasure for you, or what will you treasure the most in life? This became an important question for the team itself through the process.“

“When I reflect on my childhood, I was told to value simple things. As a mother, I know how children these days are drawn towards materialistic things like toys, gadgets, etc. which again they lose interest in, in a few days. The idea is to make the audience realise what they really treasure, not just for children, but also adults,“ she adds. 

Opened at the Aha! International Theatre Festival for Children, 2022, the play is making a comeback in Ranga Shankara after close to two years, Surabhi says that the play has grown in time and the focus has shifted towards their inner clowns, “As a director, it was my first time trying to direct a clowning piece. The 2022 version of Treasure Hunt was more of tools and techniques of clowning. Even the scenario was borrowed from a Western approach of clowning. But when I got the chance to rework it, the structure was ready, the focus shifted on the performers and their clown. Eventually this led to many more interesting improvs.“ 

Tickets for the show are priced at ₹ 200, available at the Ranga Shankara box-office and on BookMyShow. 

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