On sunday evening, all members of Perch were invited to see Rajiv's new play - a work-in-progress. The show started at seven at Skills and it was a near impossible task finding parking at Elliiot's Beach. After an animated fight with an agressive security guard and a docile policeman we squeezed our car in somewhere and arrived at skills to meet the gang.
This time around there were nine of us in the audience and I hadn't seen the play since the make-shift set-up at Rajiv's house. The screen was larger and fixed on a sturdy looking stand. Lots more props and puppets peeked out at me from behind it but I wasn't allowed back there.
There are only five actors in the play, Anand Sami, Rashmi, Karuna, Samyuktha and Sudarshan. It ran for an hour this time and had the five of them continuously switching from being actors on stage, to masked charactors, foley artists and shadow puppeteers. The day had been terribly hot and even in the evening I felt for the actors as they dripped with perspiration during their animated performance.
There were several new songs which I hadn't heard the last time around and lots of smaller details woven into the narration. The props and puppets were fantastic. Aarti and the others must have worked really hard to produce so many new masks and characters in such quick time.
After the performance we sat around for an informal feedback session. They are looking to take the show to schools and other public places in June. Though the play is mainly aimed at younger children we discussed how the stagecraft is sure to appeal to adults as well.