May 22, 2016

Under the Alamaram International Storytelling Festival 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sheila @ 12:47 pm

For 11 days  in August and September 2015 I was on a heady ride through 3 Indian cities Bangalore, Chennai and Pune.  It was made all the more exhilarating as I was in the company of some great storytellers, who also happened to be wonderful people. We told stories, we  conducted workshops,  we sweated and we ate delicious food. we ate and we sweated –  a lot.  By the  end of the  festival  I was  so tired that I slept for 16 hours straight. But I was also full of happy memories,  and eager to do it all over again. Which happily I will be able to do, in  the next edition of the festival in Chennai and Coimbatore, in the last week of September 2016.


At the  start of the Festival in Bangalore. The storytellers from left to right; Jeeva Ragunath, Groark, Randel McGee, Antonio Rocha, Jeff Gere (kneeling), Diane Ferlatte, Craig Jenkins and yours truly.



Catching up with my old friend Groark the Dragon – and his friend Randel McGee.



Storytelling during a workshop at the Army Public School in Bangalore.


Army Public School Performance

Our first performance of the Festival was in the very atmospheric hall of the Army Public School In Bangalore. It was a very long and narrow space and the stage was was small and frighteningly high, but the audience was fantastically supportive.



The Festival got very good coverage in the press.



In Bangalore we also performed in a very large theatre.



With my dear friend, festival organiser, storytelling superstar and all round wonder woman Jeeva Raghunath.


Bus from Bangalore to Chennai

After our lunch stop on the 8 hour bus ride from Bangalore to Chennai. It didn’t seem that long though, as between naps we had wonderful discussions.


Chennai 2015

The Chennai leg of the Festival took place in the Dr MGR Janaki College of Arts and Science for Women. MGR being the legendary Indian actor, director, producer, and former chief minister of Tamil Nadu. The college was his old film studio and I did my workshops and performances in what used to be a movie studio and we rested between activities in MGR’s dressing room.



In Bangalore and Chennai each international storyteller was assigned a local storyteller to look after us. In both cities I was taken very good care of by Aparna Athreya in Banglalore and by Kavitha Thyagarajan in Chennai. (Kavitha is pictured with me here).



In Chennai we performed to a packed house in the historic Egmore Museum Theatre.



The theatre was build in 1854 and the dressing rooms took you right back to that time. I loved it.


Chennai Museum Theatre

Taking our bows after a wonderful evening at the Museum Theatre in Chennai.


Pune Opening

At the opening of the Pune leg of the festival.


Here’s  a video made by the  Sakal Times, the organisers of the Pune leg of the Festival.

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