TODAY -

CCC's Uchek Langmeidong - a taste of children theatre

Rajmani Ayekpam *



Though Manipuri theatre is very rich in its theatrical forms but children theatre in Manipur is hardly visible. Some form of the children theatre may be witnessed when there was children theatre festival organized by institution like Manipur State Kala Academy, Imphal. If there is no children theatre festival in the state, there is hardly seen any activity of children theatre. But, theatre personality like Dr Lamabam Gojendra, Ningombam Jadumani Singh took children theatre as a serious theatre genre.

Now-a-day, children theatre is no more an entertainment programme but considered a part of education in their curriculum. So, National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi takes children theatre seriously by organizing National Children Theatre Festival. Even, Science and Technology Department takes children theatre seriously by organizing National Level Science One Act Play to promote awareness of science through children theatre.

To participate a children theatre programme a children can enhance his/her personality and also able to learn many aspect of society and life which can't be provided by formal school education system. So, many develop countries many theatre clubs are established to educate theatre at school and college level. In our country also, the importance theatre education is recognizing day by day.

So, many children theatre programmes are taken up. Recently, Children Cultural Centre (CCC), Manipur, Keishamthong Hodam Leirak, Imphal organized One Month Children Theatre Workshop-cum-Production with the financial assistance of Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi under the tutelage of Dr Lamabam Gojendra, an experience theatre director & critic of the state. Dr Gojendra opined that it's a difficult task to organize one month children theatre workshop- cum-production against the highly competitive education system. Today's children occupied their most of time with homework given by school and tuition. There is hardly time for socialization and other extra-curricular activities.

However, CCC organized the month-long children theatre workshop successfully and produced a workshop production play entitled Uchek Langmeidong under the project director Dr Lamabam Gojendra. The farewell programme with performance of play was done in the auditorium of Manipur Dramatic Union, Yaiskul, Imphal on 27th June, 2016 at 3.00 p.m.

The play Uchek Langmeidong was written and directed by Dr Lamabam Gojendra. The cast & credits of the play were Thiyam Lanleibi Chanu (child Liklainu/Uchek Langmeidong), Oinam Tabu (adult Liklainu/Uchek Langmeidong), Tokpam Henthoi Khuman (Father), Nameirakpam Chanu Chingkheinganbi (Stepmother), Sagolsem Miranda (Mother/friend), Sorokhaibam Liklaileima (adult friend), Huidrom Sheiya (mother's friend), Punshibal Lamabam (young younger brother), Lanchenba Lamabam (adult younger brother), Maibam Dimple & Thounaobam Christina (young girl friends), Maibam Preety (child/village woman), Telem Yaipharel, Laishram Virjit, Sagolsem Bony & Saolgsem Narendra (village friends (boy) etc. Off stage Phurailatpam Sharat Sharma & Takhellambam Rajen (stage),Takhellambam Raghumani, Th. Nishikanta (set & props), R.K. Tombisana (sound), Ch- Ringo, L. Lalit (Bobby) & Lamabam Thanil (music), Taorem Rajen (Inaocha), Hijam Mangaleima, Laishram Bhogen (make-up), Romi Lamabam (costume), Ramkrishna Lamabam (production manager), L. Sanatomba, Japan & K. Chittaranjan (documentation), Consultant/Resource person Dr Yumnam Sadananda (Bobby), Director, Kanglei Mime Theatre Repertory (KMTR), Imphal, Heirangkhongjam Bidylaxmi, Dance Guru & Takhellambam Dinamani, Music Guru etc. Acknowledgement Manipur Dramatic Union, Imphal, Kanglei Mime Theatre Repertory.

The story of Uchek Langmeidong is very popular and interesting. How ill treatment of step mother transformed a young girl into Uchek Langmeidong (Hornbill). In Manipuri lore, cruelty and ill treatment were very popular when it builds up a character of a step mother.

On the other hand, some simple but bold characters supported the protagonist of the story. When the denouement comes at, the protagonist character took unnatural thing and transformed into a bird. The protagonist character/Uchek Langmeidong revenged her step mother when she defecated on her step mother's throat. Such type of story is loved by children. The project director wisely choosed the story for children theatre.

It's interesting the play began with rare children games forgotten by this day modern children. The play attempted to remind some of the children games forgotten by many. Then, the story of Uchek Langmeidong comes in. Here, one interesting thing is the name Langmeidong is synonymous with a place named Langmeidong.

The production style of the play was ease with participant children. Simple but exotic make-up and costume design can attract the attention of the audience. Overall performance of the play was commendable one as a children theatre.


* Rajmani Ayekpam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on July 24, 2016.


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