I have been a fervent supporter of local children productions . Normally, I feel very happy coming out from a children theatre production/musical as they always end with a sweet note but not for Poultry Tales. It is not because the show wasn’t good in fact it has far exceeded my expectations (see my full review below) but because of the announcement by Brian Seward , director at I Theatre at the end of the show announcing that Poultry Tales will be the last production for I Theatre as a major grant that has been subsidizing I Theatre will no longer available. The remaining two shows that were lined up for this year will not go on and he is hoping to be able to obtain funding, donation and to streamline the cost of I Theatre so that they could be back next year.
I have done my part at the show by dropping my donation at the box after the show. Here are other ways to donate. http://itheatre.org/index.php/donate_sponsor/
There is a dollar for dollar marching grant under the Cultural Matching Fund. So do donate generously to keep this local production company around. It really saddens me if my younger kids will no longer be able to attend I Theatre productions like what the older 2 kids had done in the past few years.
The above is one reason why you should support Poultry Tales as it may be the final I Theatre’s production. That said, Poultry Tales has outdone itself by showing the audience the world of the Theatre Stage from the inside out – a totally new concept. I have been to many local children productions and this has to be one of the most memorable as it is a show within a show and a production within a production.
We often walk into to the theatre seeing a beautiful set stage with backdrop. It was not the case for Poultry Tales. The stage looked half setup with boxes piiling, lightings not at its correct position, racks for costumes still on stage. I was intrigued!
The show started with 4 stage crew narrating the need to setup up the stage in 1 hour for their upcoming show – Poultry Tales. The stage manager, assistant stage manager and 2 interns introduced the audience to the back stage world that we never get to see.
Did you know that props is the short form for property? Props that are used by the actors are called hand props. Did you know what are fly bars, legs, cyclorama, flat etc? The stage crew even explained how the costumes were sewn so that it is easy to put on and remove! The audience got a short introduction and appreciation of the world of the back stage in that short 1 hour production and still get entertained by 3 short stories!
Initially, I didn’t plan to bring big J along thinking that this musical is based on simple stories that only my younger kids will enjoy. It was a last minute decision to bring big J along due to logistic but I was glad that he came along as he was exposed to the on-going of the backstage to a theatre productions.
How the 3 stories – Chicken Licken, The Goose that Laid Golden Eggs and The Little Red Hen were interweaved by the 4 back stage casts and how the half-made up stage was used to narrate that 3 stories were simply ingenious.
As the stage crew were playing with the masks they found in the boxes, they took turn to narrate the story of Chicken-Licken. And basically let us know that even with 4 actors playing 6 roles, with use of masks, this can be achieved on stage!
Then the stage was cleared and finally the stage backdrop was used to stage the next story – The Goose that laid the golden eggs where the greed of tavern’s owners made them kill the goose and they ended up with naught.
The final story shows the hidden desire of Maggie, the stage manager to the star of the show and she starred as The Little Red Hen. Her friends have denied helping her many a times and when she finally has something good to share, the audience agreed that The Little Red Hen shouldn’t be so nice to them as well!
The younger kids may not be able to appreciate the back stage introduction part of this production but they are certainly not left out in this musical as they will thoroughly enjoy the stories segment of the musical. These are stories they would have heard at bedtime or in school. Small J’s favourite was The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs. The 3 stories were kept short and there is no short of slap stick comedy to entertain the younger audience. Like always, all 3 stories will end with the moral of the story.
The cast did an excellent job introducing the audience to the world of the back stage as stage crew, being actors of the 3 short but well-loved stories and were excellent singers to this musical too! It was the perfect show for my family for the long labour day weekend.
As always, do not miss the meet and greet after the show! You have to catch this production as it has exceeded my expectation of a local children production and it maybe I Theatre’s last production for a long time to come.
Presented by I Theatre
27 April to 14 May 2017
Weekends: 10.30am and 2pm
Venue: Drama Centre Theatre
Recommended for three year olds and above
Ticket prices: $32 (excluding booking fee)
Tickets available from SISTIC.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. All photos except the photo of my kids are credited to I Theatre.
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