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29-May-2013

Bangalore Mirror | The Last and Final Call

The Fabulous Adventures of Aditi and Friends, a play about friendship and courage, marks the end of Jagriti’s Summer Carnival for Children

– Gita Dutt

Summer will soon be a speck in the eye, with the oncoming monsoon, thunder, lightning, umbrellas… and school re-openings. While the thought of heavy school bags, endless homework, unending travel back and forth to school can dishearten both parent and child, there’s still time left to enjoy. Time to rejoice, so put that spring back in your step and the spark in your eye before school beckons.

Jagriti Theatre’s Summer Carnival with a range of workshops aimed exclusively at children, including two hugely popular plays, comes to a close this weekend. So get set to enjoy the end of the summer with an entourage that includes an unlikely alliance between a monkey, an ant, an elephant, two dragons, a giant and a little girl.

Produced by Rafiki, one of Bangalore’s best-known theatre companies, this is the second edition of The Fabulous Adventures of Aditi and Friends. Rafiki, being a group that works extensively with children, has in the last few years taken the play to several schools and colleges, besides performing about 20 shows in its workspace off Cunningham Road. While the earlier edition of the play featured the friends and their encounter with the dragons, this one dwells on how the group rescues their friend from the clutches of a giant. Rather than using mortal combat which really is the fashion these days, the friends win their fight through compassion and love. The play uses puppets, both held and human and the actors slip into their roles with dexterity. It also uses shadow puppetry to take the narrative forward. This play has already performed at several children’s theatre festivals across the country, including at the Children’s Day celebrations in Bangalore last year to great acclaim.

Most of our childhood was filled with tales of wicked stepmothers, and witches that pierced needles into little girl’s hands putting them to sleep. Stories that had no place in our realities, unlike the Panchatantra and the Jataka Tales which dwelt with stories about our own people and realities, tales of compassion, love and courage. Aditi and Friends falls in this category, it entertains and captivates young audience, even as it allows them to interpret the story in their own way, as well as manages to initiate them into the world of theatre and story-telling. What better way to end your summer holidays.

Using a good mix of larger-than-life action, song and drama, the play brings to life the stories of childhood using both English and Kannada. The live music is an added boon, managing to capture the tempo of the play through the djembe beats.

It’s no surprise really when children step out of the play, humming the song Aditi and Friends… It’s a play that can stay with you, especially if you are a child, or a child at heart, besides, the tune is catchy, it’s bound to stick.

Read as it appeared in Bangalore Mirror here.

Jagriti

Jagriti is a Performance Arts space dedicated to Theatre, Music, Dance and Comedy. Founded in 2011 by Arundhati and Jagdish Raja, the space has hosted several productions from India and around the world. A 200-seat theatre, built around a full-thrust stage, it is fully equipped to cater to both artistes and audience. The main stage is designed for intimate performances, with adjoining spaces for informal lectures and gatherings, and an attached restaurant. Jagriti is owned and operated by the not-for-profit ART Foundation, a registered charitable trust.

The Rooftop - above the main auditorium is an open-to-sky space with a staging area that can accommodate about 50 people. A raised and walled off platform can work as a perfect area for puppet theatre. The Rooftop has a restroom and a pantry. 

The Terrace - alongside the auditorium, the Terrace can accommodate about 20 people as an informal gathering area.

Lumbini - extending out from the foyer, Lumbini has a stage and an open-to-sky terraced space for about 80 people.