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Kathakali

A breath-taking blend of theatre, dance, drama, stunning costumes, beautiful makeup, and storytelling Kathakali, the classical dance-drama of Kerala, South India, makes a welcome return to this country to perform […]

A breath-taking blend of theatre, dance, drama, stunning costumes, beautiful makeup, and storytelling

Kathakali, the classical dance-drama of Kerala, South India, makes a welcome return to this country to perform a story that highlights the dignity, strength, and compassion of women.

The Kala Chethena Kathakali Company, involves outstanding international artists from Kerala, bringing emotion, colour, and incredible characters onto the stage.

Kathakali combines storytelling, dance, drama, ritual, vibrant costumes, and intricate makeup, featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the most three-dimensional makeup in the world.

Presented by world-class Kathakali experts who have undergone years of intense training and have performed internationally for decades.

For anyone unfamiliar with Kathakali there is a chance to see the makeup being applied, view the costumes, meet the artists and a short pre-show demonstration.

The performance offers a rare opportunity to see Kathakali in this country, view the makeup, see the costumes, and meet the artists.

Before the performance starts a demonstration will illustrate how a Kathakali actor tells a story through emotions, facial expressions, characters, and gestures. A short film will take the audience back in time when Kathakali first emerged 600 years ago.

The performance that follows highlights the need for women and girls to be respected and to feel safe.

In addition to the performance, there is an opportunity to learn more about Kathakali through a 45-minute drama-based workshop led by a top artist from Kerala.

Major international Kathakali artists from Kerala will perform Kathakali in the intimate atmosphere of the Phoenix Theatre and Arts Centre. Sit back, relax, and let Kathakali take you into the magic of storytelling. Let the stunning costumes, breathtaking makeup and incredible actors, transformed beyond recognition, take you into another world.

Allow your imagination to enter the magical world of Kathakali and find a place where stories come alive.

Workshop:  4.00 – 4.45pm   

A practical workshop where people can learn how a Kathakali actor tells a story through drama, a 4,000 year old sign language, facial expressions, characters and movement.  Suitable clothing required suitable for movement.

Meet the Artists: 5.00 – 6.00pm

This is the time when the public can see the makeup. costumes and meet the artist.

Performance:  7.30pm – 9.15pm

‘If it is possible to be simultaneously exhilarated and humbled by art this was just such an occasion’- Hexham Courant, Peter Lewis

‘It is impossible not to find the colourful, entertaining and fascinating.  The dancers’ impressive skill, rooted in years of discipline, remind us of the glory of non-European drama’ – The Stage

‘They perform with amazing grace, intensity and dignity.  Intense, hypnotic and spectacularly beautiful’ – The Daily Telegraph

‘For one night…actors, dancer, musicians and the audience slipped through the magic of possession into the theatre of the gods.’ – Shiomi Pinto, Extradition Magazine

Tickets:  £15.00 (under 18’s £10.00)

The Ticket Price Covers The Whole Event

Suitable for ages 6 plus

This includes the drama workshop, meet the artists and the performance.  You do not have to attend all 3 elements if unable, but highly recommended.

There may be an opportunity for food before the performance at an extra cost – this will be announced nearer the time.

Photo credit:  Mark Bennett

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