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LIFE OF PI SHOWCASE - THE LOWRY 15/06/2023 - WE GOT TO MEET RICHARD PARKER THE BENGAL TIGER


LIFE OF PI ARTWORK

I was invited to the Life of PI Showcase at the lowry this week, the show will be playing at the Lowry over the holiday season. The Play is based on the best selling novel by Yann Martel and was adapted for stage by Lolita Chakrabarti. The play tells the story of a sixteen year old boy named Pi who after a mighty storm becomes stranded on a lifeboat as the cargo ship he was travelling on sinks. Pi was one of 5 survivors and he shares the lifeboat with a hyena, a Zebra, an Orangutan and a royal Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker.


LIFE OF PI POSTERS OUTSIDE THE LOWRY

The Showcase took place in The Lowry's Pier Eight Room, before we entered the room we were served tea or coffee and then shown into the room and told we could take a seat at any of the tables. The tables were laid out ready for lunch, there was a menu in the centre of each table listing the food which would be served, each place at the table had a leaflet with information on the show as well as a little gift of a tub of biscuits which had been labelled "Boat supplies" which made me smile. Each persons chair was draped with a Life of Pi tote bag which looked like it had been specially made for the event.


LIFE OF PI SHOWCASE AT THE LOWRY

At the front of the room a small stage had been set up which had 3 chairs set out along with 2 small table both of which had a bottle of water and some glasses on them. On the wall at the back of this stage were 2 projections which read welcome to the life of Pi Showcase. At around 11.30am once all the guest had taken their seats we were welcomed by Steve Cowton, head of theatre operations at The Lowry, we then got to watch a trailer for the upcoming Life of Pi UK Tour. After the trailer Matthew Eames, head of theatres (contemporary and commissioning) introduced us to play write Lolita Charakbarti and puppet & movement director & designer Finn Caldwell. Eames then put forward a few questions to Charakbarti & Caldwell before a surprise visitor arrived....Richard Parker The Tiger.


LIFE OF PI SHOWCASE AT THE LOWRY

LIFE OF PI SHOWCASE AT THE LOWRY

The Tiger was controlled by 3 puppeteers one which controlled the head and also made all the growling and roaring noises of the tiger (Tom Stacy), one inside that controlled the front paws (Romina Hytten) and another at the back which controlled the back paws and the tail (Daisy Franks). Whilst the tiger prowled round the stage Finn Caldwell explained that the reason we tend not to noticed the puppeteers when we see the tiger is because the puppeteers look at and focus on the puppet which sends the audiences focus to the puppet and away from the puppeteers. This was very true when the tiger came in to the audience and prowled around I didn't really notice the puppeteers I was totally focused on the puppet which appeared so life like with its movements and growling noises. It is clear to see why these puppeteers ( Tom Stacy, Romina Hytten & Daisy Franks) along with there 4 west end colleagues (Fred Davis, Scarlet Wilderink, Tom Larkin & Habib Nasib Nader) who puppeteer Richard Parker, won the Oliver Award for best actor in a supporting role.


RICHARD PARKER THE TIGER PUPPET FROM THE LIFE OF PI


RICHARD PARKER THE TIGER PUPPET FROM THE LIFE OF PI

After the puppet demonstration the floor was opened up for question, one question was if the touring production would feature the west end cast or a new cast, Finn Caldwell answered the question telling us that the tour cast will be predominantly a new cast.

Set to lead the show is Divesh Subaskaran, who will make his professional debut in the central role of Pi. He is joined by Antony Antunes, who performs as Tiger Hind / Cook / Father Martin, Adwitha Arumugam as Pi alternate, Bhawna Bhawsar as Lulu Chen / Mrs Biology Kumar, Ralph Birtwell as Mamaji / Admiral Balbir Singh, Kriss Dosanjh as Father, Sebastian Goffin as Tiger Head, Akash Heer as Tiger Head, Romina Hytten as Tiger Heart and Hind, Katie Kennedy-Rose as Tiger Heart and Hind, Aizah Khan as Tiger Heart and Hind, Chand Martinez as Pandit-ji, Keshini Misha as Rani, Goldy Notay as Amma, Sharita Oomeer as Lulu Chen / Mrs Biology Kumar, Kate Rowsell as Tiger Heart and Hind, Lilian Tsang as Mrs Okamoto / Zaida Khan / Ship’s Captain, Peter Twose and Tiger Head / Voice of Richard Parker / Cook / Father Martin.


LIFE OF PI UK TOUR CAST

After the showcase we were all treated to Afternoon tea, we had a selection of sandwiches which included Chicken Salad, Tuna Mayonnaise & Sweetcorn, Prawn Marie rose, cheesly savoury, falafel crumble and simple ham, I was so glad they had simple ham as Im really fussy with sandwiches. After the sandwiches had been devoured a selection of cakes were brough out which included a red velvet mini cake, carrot cake and a vegan chocolate brownie.


AFTERNOON TEA AT THE LIFE OF PI SHOWCASE

The food was delicious and my dad and I had a great time at the showcase, it was so interesting learning all about the puppets and seeing Richard Parker close up was just an amazing experience. I am so excited to see the show at the Lowry this December.


Life of PI will be running at the Lowry from Tuesday 5th December 2023 - Sunday 7th January 2024.


You can click on the button below to purchase tickets to these performances




If you click the button below you will find the Life Of PI's official website site where you can see the other venues the show will be touring to on its UK tour in case you are unable to get to the Lowry.




Below are the Videos which we were shown at the Showcase




Below is some video footage I took of the Richard Parker puppet whilst at the Showcase





If you would like to see more footage of the life of Pi Showcase at the Lowry you can check out my Vlog below.



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