The Children’s Theatre Festival brought with it a wave of freshness the entire duration of its stay in Kolkata. G.D. Birla Sabhagar staged a production of ‘The Dandelion Story’, a heartwarming play based on a famous and endearing Korean fairy tale by Jung-Saeng Kwon, on the 15th of July. The play was largely non-verbal, with snippets of conversations that took place in English. The interactive Korean troupe of actors made sure to greet their entire audience before and during the performance, instantly winning over children and adults alike by their sincerity and warmth.

The story was alarmingly simple, yet it managed to touch the hearts of all. The tale begins with a pet dog that defecates in an area it was supposed to avoid. Then, the excrement of the dog, innocently named Doggy Poo, becomes a real character with emotions and sentiments, and becomes the central figure of the tale. Doggy Poo meets several people during the play, including a clod of earth, a bird, an old man, and Mama Hen with her chicks. However, all of them shun her as something disgusting, worthless and without purpose, making her feel hurt, unwanted and lonely. She wishes to be loved and valued like bright stars in the sky, and her heartfelt plea comes true when a dandelion seed comes to her and asks if she would bear it, so it can germinate into a blossom.

Overjoyed, she agrees, and the seed germinates with her help, to bloom into a spectacular dandelion whose beauty was akin to that of a star. Thus, the protagonist finally feels cared for, and realizes that she too, like all things in the world, has a purpose.

The crux of the play, therefore, is that nothing in the world can ever be deemed useless, and all things have a definite role to play in the cycle of life, even something that is considered filth.

The performers, apart from being so interactive, wore delightfully colorful costumes that truly captured the attention of their young audience. The use of special effects, like drones that were alight when the stage was dark, to pass as fireflies, and the constantly changing images on the set completely enraptured the little ones, adding to the appeal of the show.

The perpetual atmosphere of innocence that pervaded the production was not missed by any viewer, thoroughly charmed by the visual treat that was the performance.

The children in the audience were in awe after absorbing the profound message, the adults humbled by the simplicity of this universal truth. The evening ended with children rushing over to the stage to take pictures with the actors that had given them so much to think about.