Teamwork Arts Brings Dur Se Brothers' ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Inspired by mythology, Elephant in the Room pays homage to Lord Ganapati, also known as Ganesha one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon, in this quirky and poignant reinterpretation of his story.
Elephant in the Room won three awards for Best Actor Female, Costumes and Light Design, was nominated for 7 awards at the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards 2017 and is among the most acclaimed shows running in India. This summer Edinburgh audiences have the opportunity to experience it in the UK for the first time.
This multi-award-winning, critically-acclaimed, magic-realism tale, follows the journey of a young beheaded Elephant God, in search of his human head. Elephant in the Room is a comedy rooted in Indian mythology, time-travelling its way into a commentary on the environmental, social and cultural realities of our times.
Director and actor Yuki Ellias graduated from the Jacques Lecoq School of Theatre, Paris and London School of Performing Arts. She has collaborated with writer, Sneh Sapru, for this is reimagining of an old myth in search of new answers.
Yuki Ellias said: "The original myth has a brutal beginning- A God beheads a son. And to make amends for his mistake an elephant life is sacrificed to replace the son's old head. The old myth has a rather soft narrative for such a violent premise. I just felt there was so much more story to explore rather than just the acceptance of fate. What if the boy rejects this new head, his family, his people, himself? How would he journey from his anger and self-loathing to embrace his elephant head?"
It is a fascinating and power-packed solo performance. In the space of one hour Yuki Ellias plays nine characters including that of Master Tusk, the young elephant-boy, a Spider, hunter, Mona the Hyena, Chitra the Cheetah, Boris the Siberian Crane and others.
She continues, "This story unsettles the dust. The comedy questions the godliness of Gods and the heavy hand of patriarchy and power. Against the backdrop of contemporary India's growing religious chauvinism, we need to find new meaning in old myths".
Of Yuki Ellias, The Hindu said "It's easy to forget that Yuki is petite: on the stage, she's tall, lithe and graceful, and gives all characters that she plays a life and distinction. Accents, body language, facial expressions, everything changes as she slips easily in and out of the different characters. It's a pleasure to watch her perform." And continued about the show... "It was entertaining and thought-provoking, and for an entire hour (and for quite some time after) had the audience spellbound."
The New India Express called it "A fascinating solo"
Elephant in the Room is part of a season of work presented by Teamwork Arts on behalf of the Indian High Commission, the Ministry of Culture, and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. The UK-India Year of Culture stretches from May to November celebrating the rich diversity of Indian culture, the deep cultural ties between the two nations and the 70th Anniversary of Indian Independence. Further details of activity up and down the UK can be found at www.indiaatuk2017.com.
Web: http://indiaatuk2017.com/ Twitter: #indiaatuk2017; @TeamworkArts Facebook: /dursebrothers
Photo credit: C. Ganeshan/ Rafeeq Ellias/ Viraj Singh