The group’s ‘CAT Fringe Festival’, which began last year, is an attempt to bring different kinds of art forms — theatre, stand-up, comedy, poetry and music — all under the same roof. The month-long gala is a true celebration of a multitude of art forms at the same time, says CAT founder B Charles.
“In our city, there are many festivals for music, theatre, but not any that brings these art forms together as a community and support the upcoming artistes. That was the idea behind the CAT Fringe Festival. The festival is held on four weekends, allowing working professionals, students and children to immerse themselves in performing art shows. Our attempt is to make people step out of their homes to witness performing arts, especially in this age when everyone is lost in the digital world with streaming platforms,” explains Charles, who has worked on several theatre shows himself.
This year’s fest will feature shows like To Be Honest, a physical theatre performance rendered through movements, shadow play and aerial silk acts, an unplugged performance by director Pa Ranjith’s music group The Casteless Collective, a stand-up performance by city-based performing arts group Evam’s comics, and a unique concert, named ‘Maaditorium’, wherein the audience are given the lyrics to the songs and become part of the singing.
“We have something to offer for children and adults of all ages. The dance form that will be performed at the fest is belly dancing in various forms such as classical, oriental and modern fusion.
With belly dancing considered a taboo to be performed in public spaces, we wanted to break that by showcasing various styles of it,” Charles elaborates.
Apart from the shows, the fest also aims to provide a platform to upcoming spoken word poets to present their work before an audience. The fest will be held from July 6 to 28 on Saturdays and Sundays at Alliance Francaise of Madras in Nungambakkam.