Sly and Gobbo are up to their tricks, Big Ears is working on his magic, Mr Plod is busy scolding people and Noddy of courseis solving another mystery. Noddy and his mates at Toyland, arguably the most-lovable characters author Enid Blyton createdfor children, will come alive on stage this week right here in Mumbai. And no, this is not a film, or the regular animation showsone sees on TV but a live production of Noddy in Toyland complete with original music and dance.
Preparations to bring the show to India started earlier this year,beginning with rehearsals with the cast in the United Kingdom. Nick George, director, Premier Stage Productions, the team behind the production, explains that considering the harsh logistics of transporting shows around the world, a lot of effort went into shipping the props and costumes to India. “It takes a lot of hard work,” he explains. “But, as I’m sure you will see, it’s more than worth it.” Buoyed by an overwhelming response to the production last year in New Delhi, the show is expected to open in Bangalore as well before the end of the year.
For a production company with years of experience staging popular children’s character shows in the UK, adapting Noddy’s story for stage seemed like an obvious choice. “He is much loved across the world, both in books and on television and the stories and characters are hugely memorable. We work hand in hand with the brand owners to bring the show to life on stage,” says George. The main challenge, he explains, of adapting any popular series for the stage, is to make sure that the shows remain faithful to its origins. “It is a great responsibility to recreate such loved and well-known stories,” he adds.
So will we see all the characters ‘live’ on stage? George says it will be a lot more than that. Calling the show ‘energetic’, ‘interactive’ and ‘fun’, he say the audience too will get the chance to take part in the fun by helping “Noddy foil the Goblins’ plan to cause trouble”. “There will be plenty of cheering for the good guys and booing for the baddies throughout this exciting adventure,” promises George.