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Thu 24 March Thu 24 March Fri 25 March Fri 25 March

Thursday 24th & Friday 25th MARCH ’22

WORKSHOP : 15:30 – 16:30

VIEW MAKE-UP : 17:00 – 18:00 (FREE)

EVENING PERFORMANCES : Doors 19:00 – Onstage from 19:30

A breath-taking blend of theatre, dance, drama, stunning costumes, beautiful makeup and storytelling

The renowned Kala Chethena Kathakali Company, from Kerala, South India,is bringing the ancient art of Kathakali back to QUAY ARTS CENTRE, NEWPORT, ISLE OF WIGHT [www.quayarts.org] during a Kathakali Tour 2022 this spring. Kathakali is the classical dance drama of Kerala, south India and combines storytelling, dance, drama, ritual, vibrant costumes, and an intricate makeup  featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the most three dimensional make up in the world. Presented by world-class Kathakali experts who have undergone years of intense training and have performed internationally for decades. The tour focuses on making Kathakali as accessible and enjoyable to as many people as possible including children, families, and students, both from Asian and non-Asian communities.

The performance offers a rare opportunity to see Kathakali in this country, view the makeup, see the costumes, and meet the artists. Before the performance starts a demonstration will illustrate how a Kathakali actor tells a story through emotions, facial expressions, characters, and gestures. A short film will take the audience back in time when Kathakali first emerged 600 years ago. The performance that follows highlights the need for women and girls to be respected and to feel safe.

In addition to the performance there is an opportunity to learn more about Kathakali through a drama-based workshop led by a top artist from Kerala.

Based in Southampton and Kerala, south India the company was founded by Kathakali actor Kalamandalam Vijayakumar and Kathakali make-up specialist Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar, the Kala Chethena Kathakali Company brings major world class artists from Kerala to tour nationally and internationally. 



PERFORMANCE (24/3 & 25/3)
£15 advance*
£17 on the door


The performance is preluded by a short demonstration and film featuring the background to Kathakali  and the story to be seen. 

£10 advance*
£12 on the door


Kathakali is an ancient dance drama from the temples of Kerala and has mastered the art of visual storytelling for 500 years. Kathakali offers an exciting opportunity for people to understand and enjoy non-western theatre. 

The workshops led by internationally renowned Kathakali actor Kalamandalam Vijayakumar and will involve the following skills:  

HAND GESTURES – a 4,000 year old dramatic sign language

FACIAL EXPRESSIONS – to show emotions.

BODY LANGUAGE – movement, body exercises, co-ordination

RHYTHM – footwork and concentration

*Our booking fees explained:
Our goal is to provide an excellent personal service to our customers and to do this requires a lot of resource. The booking fee we levy contributes to the cost of running the Quay Arts Centre, its Box Office and Box Office systems. As a charitable not for profit organisation all income is used to support the delivery of arts and cultural activities to our local community.

Did you know we serve an evening menu before the show?

Our delicious evening menu will be served 6 – 7.00pm before the show. Booking is essential!