07th October 2019

The Tempest – An Unforgettable Experience

Helen O’Grady International is the world’s largest after-school developmental drama programme in the world. Over one million children are enrolled in this programme globally. In India alone, the programme has more than 50,000 students enrolled. It has won the prestigious Best Innovative After-School Programme Award by the Indian Education Congress for three consecutive years (2014, 2015 and 2016). More recently, Ms. Arpita Mittal - CEO of Helen O’Grady International received the, ‘Inspirational Leader Award’ at the Education Icon Awards 2019.

Helen O’Grady International in its continuous endeavour to develop quality theatre content for children of schools across the country, are putting up not just a great show, but also an unforgettable experience - ‘The Tempest’. What sets it apart from any other play, is the fact that it is pantomime.

A pantomime show is an art form where character movements and facial expressions are given the spotlight rather than primarily the spoken dialogues to communicate. There are no words used at all in the play.

Pantomime's dramatic power is evidenced by the fact that the relatively young audience can relate to a Shakespeare play without a hitch. It’s all done to make Shakespeare speak to the new generation in a traditional yet modern way with the help of state-of-the-art production technologies.

There is a lot that can be learnt from the world of Shakespeare, however; the language and its adaptation has proved a hurdle for the last couple of centuries. Through body movement, facial expressions, gestures, dance and music Helen O’Grady International effectively portrays the show Tempest and its message successfully. It has been doing so for more than five years currently.

The Tempest was directed by the legendary Bollywood actor and director, K. Paintal. It is conceptualized and adapted into the pantomime form by Ms. Arpita Mittal. The training and polishing of the talented actors is done by Ms. Nutan Raj.

The Tempest by Helen O’Grady International is the only pantomime show of a Shakespeare plays in the world. Having completed 47 successful shows across the country with a total of 30,000+ students having watched it in cities like Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, Goa, Varanasi, Chennai, Pune, Ooty, Amritsar, Chandigarh and more is just a small measure of how much it is cherished and appreciated by the students and the teachers of schools.

One of the great tokens of gratitude for the immensely talented actors and for Helen O’Grady International as an educational institution is the essential feedback, given by the show attendees. Principal Avnita Bir of R.N. Podar School, said, “The show was fabulous! The fact that it was a pantomime made it even more special. I think the expressions of every actor were superb. I could understand the plot so well because of the movement of the actors and their expressions.”

Principal Jane Kotian of Bombay Scottish School, Powai, said, “The show was a treat for the eyes. It’s been a long time since we’ve been watching Shakespeare’s plays, but Shakespeare in pantomime. Who knew? Kudos Helen O’ Grady, I think you all did a wonderful job!”

Sister Veronica of St Joseph’s Convent International’s School, Bandra, said, “It was very nice. The overall rhythm was very attractive, and the movements of the actors were good. The makeup was also very nice and each one of them performed their parts so well.”

The Principal of Thakur Public School - Ms. Yogini Suvarna.

Such breathtaking feedback coming from established members of the educational community goes a long way in motivating the cast and crew members to do even better. A play without any dialogue may sound odd at first but in order to experience a pantomime show like The Tempest, its needs to be viewed first. Countless hours are put in to perfect this unique art form. Having brought this experience to various parts of the country and have performed in multiple well-established schools along the way, the most important thing is the fact that we’re only getting started. 

The Tempest will be back on 9th October at St Andrew's Auditorium, Bandra, Mumbai.

Follow our social media handles for all the latest updates on Tempest and to know about other theatre productions of Helen O’Grady International.


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