A new form of children’s entertainment is brewing in the town. There are myriad ways in which creators attempt to win the kids over. Agencies have their own research and development teams that track the popular themes and trends that can allow them to successfully capture the imagination of their discerning audience. There is growing cognisance amongst creators to seek out new ways to regale kids who belong to the current generation. The challenge to keep the kids hooked on to any existing content is real given the diminishing attention spans and the evolved tastes clubbed with the wide variety of mediums they can choose from.
In the quest to entertain children, Guppy theatre has brought alive an unprecedented combination of elements that is designed to rope children in its charm. Children seem to leapfrog from one thing to another since they have a melange of devices and stories to choose from.
Recently Guppy theatre, in a bid to fuse the classic art of puppetry with the current technological nuances, brought about a distinct style of theatre that has perhaps not been tried before. It might not be conceivable that kids could actually furnish an interest in the unconventional form of entertainment but that notion couldn’t be further from reality. We can never be too sure what children would really be inclined to watch.
Guppy Theatre’s Maharaja series opened with an explosion of promise as the pranky Maharaj elicited a fair amount of chuckles prefaced by a flamboyant narrator that kept the spell going with a mildly self-deprecating back-and-forth interaction with kids. Perhaps its the element of participation that could very well explain why kids seemed to enjoy the stories so much.
They live in a kingdom inspired by the splendour of Rajasthan’s old forts and palaces. It’s one thing to watch or hear a story but to be made a part of the universe that artists have woven for you lends itself to acceptance.
To add to the enchantment, the story adds loveable characters Shera (Prince’s pet tiger with anthropomorphic attributes), Rajmata (Prince’s mother) and the minister of pranks that instantly manage to tickle the funny bones. Inspired by the splendour of Rajasthan’s old forts and palaces, the vast kingdom is teeming with adventure and exploration. Exploration not just at the level of pranks at Mastinapur but also at the level of creators who plan to bring their stories in other forms too. Redefining the content and its presentation, Guppy theatre marks a fresh change in the ways stories are told.
With such inventive ways in which the environment is conjured up from lights behind the curtains interspersed with cut-out characters and the superlatively interactive story-telling, we see the team of artists work their ways into children’s hearts. Between resounding giggles, wows and the marvellous play of lights, the show offered a rare spectacle at Prithvi Theatre. We hope to see more such fascinating stories and performances in the days to come.