Percha��s production, the multilingual Monkey and the Mobile, is about how technology has taken over our lives today and, in keeping with the theme, a showmanship of technological gimmickry has been hemmed into its every aspect. Think actors who will be brandishing cell phones on stage to capture images that will be screened live on a projection. Or actors tweaking a part of the soundtrack for the play.
The play has been developed as an interesting exercise in devised theatre, wherein actors organically develop the script as against setting out with a bound script book, often considered sacrosanct. a�?When we started, we only had the theme of technology. The stories emerged as the cast and crew discussed it,a�? explains director Rajiv Krishnan. The result: six short stories in English, with a smattering of Tamil and Malayalam. They range from a fictitious gesture contest between two phone addicts to a tweaked version of the folk story, Monkey and the Crocodile (which explains the title of the play). At a more serious level, the play will explore concepts like a persona��s identity, memory and control, as affected by technology.
Having premiered in Chennai last year, before travelling to Bengaluru and Pondicherry, it returns to the city considerably changed, Krishnan explains. a�?Wea��re constantly reworking the play, honing it, based on feedback from the audience and the actors, doing away with what hasna��t worked and making additions when necessary. For example, wea��ve added a song at the end of one of the plays, on the life cycle of an emoji, because we thought it summed up the story better,a�? he says.
Each of the plays will be accompanied by projected images, most of which will be captured live. a�?We didna��t want to use pre-recorded images because actors then have to adjust the timing of their performance in order to sync it with the images being projected,a�? explains Iswar Srikumar, one of the five members of the technical team. The imagesa��sometimes interactive and sometimes used as a backdropa��have been planned such that the subjects can be captured by actors from the stage, and projected live. a�?The audience may not always be able to observe that the images are being taken from the stage though,a�? he adds. Likewise, an actor can control the timing of any particular layer of the sound for perfect synchronisation with his performance, he explains.
On June 18-19, at Alliance FranA�aise, at 3 pm and 7 pm. Free entry. Details: 28279803