It might have been a decade since Harry Potter saw his children off on the Hogwarts express. But the magical world of Potterverse has always lived on, with spin-off books, films, and the many many events surrounding it. The craze isn’t dying out anytime soon, as the famed pantomime of Little Theatre this year is also going to be based on Harry Potter!
The Little Theatre is famous for pantomimes every year before Christmas, and so far, they’ve touched upon themes like Lord of The Rings, Prince of Persia, and most recently, Star Wars! So, it’s only natural that they eventually came upon Harry Potter, as Prashanth Oliver, the director explains, “Star Wars last year was a space opera, which all audiences enjoyed. Harry Potter too, with all the magic involved, is sure to leave them mesmerised. Even 20 years since the first book released, the fans have kept its magic alive, and now it’s our turn to show it on stage.”
What sets a pantomime apart from a play is the interaction the actors have with the audience. “There is a ‘dame’, who is a male playing an important female character and interacting with the audience. Our main leads are almost always women — so in this case, Harry, too, will be played by a girl!” says Prashanth. The auditions for the pantomime are open to all, and they are looking for anyone who can act, sing, dance or even perform magic (obviously), given the theme.
“We normally have close to 30 people on the stage, and we work together as a team — so to discuss as on how to use every cast member’s talent,” Prashanth says. Within a week of announcing the auditions, the team has received over a hundred registrations. Rohini Rau, a trustee of The Little Theatre says, “It is partly because we have had some great shows in the past, but it is mostly because it is Harry Potter and many fans want to be a part of the project. Honestly, I am a little anxious about how to fit in so many people in our studio!” Although many cannot be chosen for the play, the team is also looking for interns in other departments like direction, production and marketing of the pantomime.
Explaining how the pantomime will have something for everyone, whether you are a Potterhead or not, Rohini says, “Well, if you are expecting the exact story as in the books, you might be disappointed, as we are famous for including a horde of different characters in the play — right from Indian characters, to famous personalities to characters from other books and films! Whether you are a fan or not, the panto will have something for everyone from the ages of two to 90!”
(The audtions will take place from 6 to 8 pm on August 5th and 4 pm to 8 pm on August 6th at Cheriana, 39/46, Rams Square, 2, Village Road, Nungambakkam.)