After wowing audiences in Delhi and Jaipur, the annual Ishara International Puppet Festival will debut in Mumbai this Saturday, at NCPA’s Experimental Theatre.
Delhi’s ace puppeteer Dadi Pudumjee, the founder member of the Ishara Puppet Theatre, had been planning to bring the festival to the city for months now. From a cornucopia of nine shows by groups from Russia, Taiwan, Turkey and the U S two will be staged at the NCPA.
The two-day carnival will begin with The Beauty of Taiwanese Puppet Theatre, with master puppeteer Chen Xihuang of the Taiyuan Puppet Theatre Company pulling the strings.
The traditional glove puppet show is based on the play, The Accidental Marriage. It is the story of a young couple who meet by accident and fall in love. Through the hour-long performance, the puppeteers will demonstrate electrifying action scenes through delicate movements. “The story has been improvised to create and break illusions,” says Pudumjee.
Playing with shadows
On Sunday, Turkey’s puppeteers, Sehsuvar Aktas and Ayse Selen, will combine shadow play and forms of traditional puppetry as well as Turkish theatre to stage How to Tell It. The hour-long narrative will provide an insight into a child’s mind to discover how he would like to be told a fairy tale.
It’s not only a first for Ishara, most of the groups putting up shows are also doing so for the first time in India. Pudumjee is upbeat, “Although we’ve managed to bring only a segment of the puppet carnival to Mumbai, I’m glad that we’ve made a beginning.”