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    Experimental use of props and set designs set the mood for Short + Sweet theatre fest finals.

    FROM using steel pump covers as robot heads to a lightsaber used for a Star Wars inspired Hamlet scene, the plays selected for the Short + Sweet final round are pushing the boundaries with innovative properties and their experimental usage. Here we pick three from the 11 plays, for their unusual treatment of their sets a�� Set in the future, Chennai Pattinam 2065 is a play about how a�?technology isolates people,a�? says director Mathivanan Rajendran. While heads of the robots are made of steel water pump covers, their bodies are made of paper and wires, and faces with tubes and buttons. a�?(We) stole from everything in the dressing room and made it on the day of the show,a�? laughs Rajendran. Their entire set design, is just blocks that were available at the venue a�?which become different things during the play.a�?
    A Tale Of A Tall Girl, as the name suggests, is the coming of ageA� journey of a girl who is is rather tall. Following the natak mandli format, a�?minimisation of costumes and props becomes essential,a�? says the director Sunil Vishnu K. The two significant props used are an aluminum ladder and wooden frames. While the ladder is used to denote everything from a college staircase, a building structure and a cinema theatre, the wooden frames are used variously as a handbag, windows, pictures of Gods, a plate and binoculars.
    In Shakespeare – As You Like It, a�?Shakespearean themes and storylines (are) loosely used to talk about the concept of entertainment in todaya��s time,a�? explains director Bhargav Ramakrishnan. There are three actors playing multiple roles on a stage bereft of sets. The props are used to mark the change from one character to another. For instance a white cloth is used as a toga during Julius Caesar and a ghost during Hamlet. a�?Props lend themselves to be very irreverent in the play,a�? Ramakrishnan says while adding that Romeo and Juliet sequence is portrayed as a football match where Juliet is herself a football.
    At Alliance Francais. July 29 to31. Rs 200. Details: eventjini.com

    a��Simar Bhasin

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