With Christmas fast approaching and everyone getting excited for cakes, wines and other goodies, Little Theatre’s yearly pantomime is at the ready, too, to entertain the audience! Pantomimes are musical stage plays with satire that are performed across the globe. With the revival of the theatre scene in Chennai, pantomimes are back with the same popularity. Little Theatre has been performing pantomimes for more than two decades and this is the 23rd pantomime.
The play for this year titled Happy Potter And The Egg Of Destiny is based on the popular fantasy Harry Potter series.
Prashanth Oliver, the director the play, talks about the plot saying, “It’s about three magical schools, Hogwarts, Durmstrang Institute, and Beauxbatons Academy of Magic competing for the egg of destiny. The winner will emerge as the most powerful person. But it is not like Harry Potter itself... the characters and their nature is inspired from the original story. I play the character of Lord Voldemort — he has a nose this time (laughs). There is a lot of live music, dance and magic. It will be a different version of Harry Potter that can’t be experienced in both movies and books.”
The two-hour-play has 15 actors from various age groups — kids, young adults and adults. Trained over four months in acting, singing and dancing, the actors have dedicated time away from their school, work and other day jobs solely for the play. The pre-recorded tracks will be played with singers singing live on the stage. Vikas Rao is the dance choreographer of the play, who has designed special sequences for the pantomime.
Krishna Kumar, popularly called as KK by the team, an actor, who has also directed previous plays based on Star Wars and other movies for Little Theatre, talks about the message of it saying, “It is essentially a parody — a spoof, with many new characters. It will reach a massive age group. The script is such that both children and adults can get different good messages in the spirit of the holiday. It can be the recent flood, power cuts, current political situation or a mix of everything!”
Since Happy Potter...involves the showcasing of a lot of magic, the live special effects are a big part of the pantomime. “There are many engineers working with us to produce effects and holograms and many elements, which will bring magic onto the stage,” adds KK. Prashanth agreeing with KK adds, “We need the after-effects when every spell is conjured. The movements are very vital. The physics of it is what will create the incredible visuals for the viewers.”
With the festival spirit of love and brotherhood, the concept of unity will play a major role in the script of the play. “With all the growth in technology, we've become separate and divided. We need to break down those walls and let the Christmas bring joy and magic to us!” says KK. There will also be a Santa Claus bringing candy in the interval for the audience and the participants can feel the theme of the good triumphing over evil....