August can be a tricky month in Delhi, with the air so humid you could irrigate a field, but Geronimo Stilton, a talking mouse, has kingdoms to visit, friends to make and a fairy queen to rescue. Geronimo Stilton Live, a Broadway-style play in which stellar acting is accompanied by state-of-the-art technology, music and dance, will be staged at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi from August 3 to 5. There are plans to tour the show in other cities later this year.
At The Lalit, where the team is staying, brown haired, blue-eyed British actor Tom Keeling is dressed as Geronimo from his shoes to the mouse head. “Blossom, the queen of the fairies, is in danger so we have to go to the seven kingdoms to try to save her. In each land, we meet giants, mermaids, gnomes and pixies, among others, who help us in different ways. We also meet folks who are not so nice,” he says.
The play is based on The Kingdom of Fantasy, a part of a best-selling series by Italian author Edizioni Piemme. Over an hour and a half, children will watch the real world of actors merge with projections of kingdoms and magnificent props. In one scene, when Geronimo and his friends visit the land of giants, an immense foot comes on the stage that is several times taller than the actors. Catherine Saunders plays Princess Sterling of Kingdom of Dragons, who is “very confident and, when she gets together with Geronimo, she realises that she has some skills that they don’t. This makes her valuable”.
In a world where conversations around diversity are growing louder, the story highlights the need for people to work together across kingdoms. “He wants the kingdoms to just get along, so that there are no wars. It is very exciting for actors when children interact with us and shout out instructions,” says Keeling. And, it is never too late to change your colours to become a better person as Boils’ journey shows. The chameleon works for Queen Cackle, who is not very nice. “But I see the light and realise what’s wrong with my ways and join Geronimo in his mission to rescue Blossom. This story is a great parable because Boils’ weakness becomes his strength to show everybody that you can have faults and you can overcome them,” says Aaron Rahn, who plays Boils.
The production was created two years ago and has travelled the globe. There are elements and people from Singapore, Australia, the UK, Spain and the Philippines, among others. “Geronimo tells us that the most important thing is realising that we are stronger as a team,” says Keeling.