Friday, November 7, 2014

I Theatre Hop and Honk Review!

Values are somewhat, to me, synonymous with I Theatre's productions. From selfishness (Rainbow Fish) to the value of hard work (The Little Red Hen), I love how these are impressed upon the kiddo using various stories and characters.

Hop and Honk is a bit more than that. This is a tale about friendship, about the acceptance of differences, and of not judging a book by its cover. It is a cleverly woven tale using two classic stories - The Frog Prince, Anura, and Ugly Duckling, Cygna.

The tale starts off with the witch turning the Prince into a frog who later befriended Cynga. Like the traditional tale, Cygna never fitted in with her siblings or in her school. She was often ridiculed and ostracised.

This is not unlike Anura, who had amnesia, and also found out that he was also very different from the rest of the frogs. This started an unexpected yet charming friendship between the two who went on to seek for answers on who they are, where they came from and why are they different; not unlike many of us who face these uncertainties, even in adulthood.

And like all fairytales, there is a villain - Herodias the Heron, flanked by his two weasel sidekicks - Lester and Chester. The easy banter and camaraderie between this trio provided many light-hearted moments and laughs amongst the audience too.

The musical is refreshing and the songs lively. One of my favourite scenes is that of when Anura was with other frogs. The props were well designed to depict that of a 'pond' scene and the song was catchy. The frogs were also well portrayed by the actors and Dumpling was very amused with their bobbing of the heads and how they "ribitted" through. :)

Of course, what Dumpling was looking forward to was the moment Cygna transformed into a beautiful swan "so that the mean ducks would stop making fun of her". :)

The set was beautiful, certainly one of my favourite amongst all the I Theatre productions. The costumes of the swans and the frogs were well thought out and elegantly designed. Hop and Honk is not your traditional fairy-tale, rather more of a fractured fairy-tale that has been given doses of adult humor injected with local context.
The two palace swans' heavily accented English certainly had me in stitches of laughter, a clever play on how appearances (in this case the elegance of the swans) may not be indicative of who they are.
Using these 2 stories, Brian Seward was able to explore and present themes which are very "real" in our society and faced by school children these days. From bullying to self esteem issues, these were communicated well and in digestible bits that can be understood by children. 

As Hop and Honk is about 95 minutes long (with a 15-min interval), I feel that the musical would be suited for older children of 5/6 and above. With its splatter of adult humor, I believe that this is one production that parents would enjoy too!

Hop and Honk is presented at the Drama Centre Theatre (NLB Building in Bugis) from now till 15 November.

You can purchase your tickets from Sistic here! You can read about reviews of previous I Theatre's productions here

Disclaimer: We were invited to watch the production and give our opinions of it. We were not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely ours.   

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