What happens when you know the destination but have no clue of the road? That was the problem Suhaas Ahuja, Jim Sarbh and Ratnabali Bhattacharjee faced when they decided to make a play for children. "You try to tread every way possible to reach your target. That's what we did," Ratnabali says.
The trio wanted to make a play for kids. They had a theme in mind but no story at all. Yes, the actors and directors were ready to do a play without a story. "We just had a theme. We wanted to tell the kids that don't follow the herd mentality. Do not follow blindly what your parents or relatives tell you. Think. And do whatr your heart tells you to do. With this idea in mind we started jamming and came up with a plan," she says.
And hence a play was done. A much-bullied kid makes friends with a banana skin and an apple core that he finds in a dustbin where he has been dumped. His favourite teacher, who always saves him, finds him and helps him out yet again. However, this teacher soon disappears, and is replaced by a substitute teacher who belongs to a secret cult. Slowly, they take over the minds of the children with the adage that all food is good. Food is everything. Food is the only thing that one should think of at all times. Initially, this makes all the children ecstatic, as they no longer have any other lessons in school. All they do is eat delicious food. But the bullied kid is not convinced by this. What will he do?
"We began with no script, no story, but a theme, and a want to bring to everybody the sheer magic that theatre holds. A story well told can be told devoid of elaborate sets and a tempo full of props. We love theatre for its licence to imagine, the suspended belief, that crosses all borders and manages to hit you smack in the face," she says. The only props used in the play are three stools, hooplas and a brief case. We take our kids to be really dumb-head but the truth is they are very smart, and we devised this story keeping their smartness in mind," Ratnabali concludes.
When and Where: Today from noon at Prithvi Theatre