Relive the adventures inside a rabbit hole this weekend
Theatre veteran Arundhati Raja had first directed Alice!, an adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland, in 1998. She is returning with the play after 17 years this weekend. The occasion is to mark the 150th anniversary of the book that was published by Macmillan on November 26, 1865.
“It has never been out of print since, and has been translated into nearly 200 languages. Over the ages, the story has been loved by young and old alike,” remarks Raja, artistic director of the city-based Jagriti Theatre. Her 25-member cast includes kids in the age group of eight to 14, who are part of the Jagriti Kids & Youth Production. The show is also the culmination of Jagriti’s year-long Trinity Theatre Arts Programme for children.
Ten-year-old Gaurika Mehrotra will play the titular role and “fall down the rabbit hole into a fantasy world”. “It’s not possible to accommodate all of Alice’s adventures in the play, so we have retained the best known and loved characters from the book,” says Raja. So expect the kids to bring to life characters such as The Caterpillar, The Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, The Duchess, The Queen of Hearts and her entourage, Humpty Dumpty, and Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
Raja was seven years old when she was gifted the “slim book” by her parents, though she read it only a few years later. Where does the appeal of the book lie, we ask? “The characters might be fictional, but they were somewhere inspired from real people. And through this book, we learn that the world around us is full of strange people, even if we find them to be normal. And Lewis Carroll focused more on the peculiarities of people, than their normalities,” explains the director, who had also recorded an audio book of Alice in Wonderland a few years ago, which is now available at the Jagriti.
December 18 (8 pm), December 19-20 (3 pm and 6.30 pm). At Whitefield.
Tickets (Rs 300) on bookmyshow.com
— Barkha Kumari