Beloved story ‘Life of Pi’ now a stage play on Broadway
The beloved story of "Life of Pi," first a best-selling novel by Yann Martel and then an Oscar winning film, has been adapted into a play now being performed on Broadway.
The Patel family, fleeing India with several animals from the zoo they owned, board a cargo ship hoping to start a new life in Canada. But a storm at sea claims the family members' lives with only one human survivor: 17-year-old Pi, who is left to battle the elements and to tame a Bengal tiger.
The action-adventure tale is also deeply metaphorical, says actor Hiran Abeysekara, who performs in the title role.
"I feel life of Pi. But everybody has those obstacles, those tigers that need to be tamed…And it doesn't stop, either. My life has been...it's been a mad life when I think about from where I was born, my childhood, my school days, what the country was going through...a crazy civil war. And then suddenly the tsunami hit," says Abeysekara who is from Sri Lanka. "And suddenly I was in England and then going to drama school which I had never heard about before. And there are so many tigers that I've encountered within me and outside on my journey.”
Abeysekara previously played the role in the London production of "Life of Pi" for which he received the Olivier Award.
Puppeteers bring the tiger, named Richard Parker, to life. They also puppet several other animals, including an orangutan, a zebra and a hyena.
"Life of Pi" is being performed at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. Watch more with Hiran Abeysekara here: