Sanjay and his Master – My View

I and Scorps watched the play Sanjay and his Master at Rangashankara on Jan 29th.

Sanjay and his Master, by KinderKinder, Germany, is a story of a young boy who learns music to make a living. Once he masters it, he desires to be a court musician. But the king sets a condition to accept him. How he wins is the climax of the story.

The characters in this story are in the form of puppets managed by well-known puppeteer Mathais Kuchta. There is a band of three musicians who takeover the role of Sanjay and his master in the scenes where they play music. Thus, this is a blend of music and puppet show.

After my amazing experience with Red Balloon (Read my review here), my expectations from puppet shows were naturally high. I booked tickets the very day it opened on IndianStage and even urged my friends to take their kids to this show.

Let me put my experience in a simple format:

What I liked:
  • Puppets – The puppets were big (almost life-size) and cute.
  • Music – The musicians played some good music.
What I did not like:
  • Mathais – Mathais gave voice to all the characters — Sanjay, his master, witch, king, and if I remember correctly even the master’s daughter. His tried to modulate his voice to suit the character, but was never convincing. At times, his dialog delivery was incomprehensibly fast.
  • Story – The music and the story were good as separate tracks. However, when they blended, they lost their significance. In fact, in some scenes excellent music overshadowed the lacklustre screenplay.
  • Screenplay – I have seen quite a few plays targeted towards younger audience. Among other things, the highlight of those shows was engaging screenplay — the hilarious dialogues and witty one-liners that made kids laugh their guts out. During this show, there was no dearth of kids in the hall. But they only laughed three times. Twice for some slapstick acts and another a crass act where Mathais puts Elephant shit back to where it came from. (Yes, you read it right.)

Have you seen this play? What do you think?