Braving the terror of their ongoing university examinations, students of Bandra’s St Andrew’s and Vile Parle’s Pravin Gandhi College will be performing as a part of Zest! a National Centre for Performing Arts’ (NCPA) initiative to promote college productions, that includes letting the winners showcase their talent at this sought-after venue.
Premised on taking fairy tales and turning them around their head, Spare Ribs and The Tale of Hansel and Gretel have been selected. In the case of the first, the enthused director from Pravin Gandhi College, Rafael Pereira, shares, “It is the story of three little pigs with a Mumbai twist to it. The humour is extremely stereotypical.”
Justifying the attempt as being inexplicable, Pereira mentions, “We are using lots of projections making the play very interactive. We wanted to break the fourth wall between us and the audience.” By interspersing the narrative with elements including the Harlem Shake video between the blackouts, the group has judiciously used the limited number of actors that are available to them.
Talking of Hansel and Gretel, Tushar Matthew from St Andrew’s, tells, “Although we’ve used the basic skeleton of the kids in the forest, there is no witch. We have actually looked at things that went unanswered in the original story, like when the kids come back, the mother’s absent.” Matthew has managed to have 20 characters on stage by rendering the story as a musical. “The music is original and written by us. There’ll be a live performance of the band too,” he signs off.