Alice in Indialand
Tunni Ki Kahani, a new children's play, gives a desi twist to Lewis Carroll's evergreen story
Alice's adventures after she falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar anthromorphic creatures have entertained us ever since English author Lewis Carroll penned the 1865 novel Alice in Wonderland. The popular fantasy work has inspired many fantasy stories, plays and movies alike. Theatre playwright and director Gopal Tiwari, who has earlier worked in famous plays such as Stories In A Song and Aaj Rang Hai, now gives an Indian twist to this renowned work in his new production Tunni Ki Kahani.
It’s about an over-imaginative 12-year-old girl Tunni who dreams at night about the stories she has read through the day. One day, she manages to escape into one of the stories and meets magical characters. Amidst lots of song and drama, she manages to fight an evil queen. Twenty-year-old Trisha Kale, who has earlier worked in plays such as Stories in a Song and Jungle book, plays Tunni.
Explaining how he got the idea for the piece, Tiwari says, “The basic premise of my play is from Alice in Wonderland. I had written the outline couple of years ago. This year, I thought of fleshing it out and staging it as part of Summertime at Prithvi theatre.”
The playwright-director wanted an actor who could sing as well as portray Tunni’s mischievousness. He zeroed in on Kale after working with her in her earlier plays. “Since Trisha has a certain childlike innocence and can sing very well, I thought of casting her as Tunni.” Kale says that playing a 12-year-old wasn’t easy. “I sought inspiration from my childhood experiences. I had to work on my body language, voice modulation and ensure that I brought a certain level of energy, synonymous with kids, on the stage.”
Tiwari maintains that the 70-minute play packs in a message along with loads of entertainment. “The biggest challenge was to ensure that we give out the message of unity in diversity in a fun entertaining way as kids have a short attention span,” he signs off.
When: May 14, 11 am
Where: Prithvi Theatre, Janki Kutir, Juhu