Review of The Magic Porridge Pot

Mother

The Magic Porridge Pot is part of I Theatre’s ACE! 2013 Festival Lite offering and runs for two weeks from 20 May 2013. This age-old fairy tale is one of the lesser-known stories from the annals of the Brothers Grimm and essentially a warm-up to their November offering Grimms Fairy Tales.

So how does it fare up against other children’s productions out in Singapore these days? Pretty well actually…

The Magic Porridge Pot Stirs Up

The story is set around a poor starving little girl, living alone with her mother, who chances upon a magic porridge pot that (ahem) magically cooks porridge whenever the words ‘cook, little pot, cook’ are uttered. The pot stops when the words ‘stop, little pot, stop’ are said.

Naturally, there is a twist to the story and that presents itself when one of the story’s characters takes the pot for herself and starts the pot cooking but doesn’t know how to make it stop.

The set didn’t need to be anything special based on the story, and it wasn’t. One did wonder how the ever expanding amounts of porridge would be reflected and as it turns out, I Theatre’s clever use of little cream-coloured sacks spewing from the pot and a large netting to illustrate the overflow more than did the job.

Porridge

The cast of three also more than made up for the simplicity of the set with their animated portrayals of the characters – the little girl, her mother, the old lady who brings the pot, the masked narrators and the obligatory villain… a thief.

Alecia Kim Chua, in particular, was a standout as the ‘old lady’ bringing the magic pot and mother of the poor girl, delivering superbly and suitably comically and leaving the kids in stitches.

Mother

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Elizabeth Loh and Jonathan Lum, as the poor girl and the thief respectively, played well off each other to draw the kids into the action, especially in the scenes which had a cat and mouse element with the thief waiting to steal the pot.

Girl in Thief

The storyline itself was nicely spread out. One did wonder before the start of the show how I Theatre would be able to stretch this to the advertised 55 minutes. However, the inventive use of songs and the building up of characters, that would usually be lost in most retelling of this tale, kept the whole performance nicely paced and held the kids’ attention very well throughout.

Darryl Sophie

Posing with the cast of The Magic Porridge Pot (from left): Girl (Elizabeth Loh), Mother (Alecia Kim Chua), and Thief (Jonathan Lum).

I particularly thought the way the cast brought the kids into the performance by asking them to the echo the songs and answer questions made it interactive and helped to keep the show flowing. Perhaps I Theatre could have built in a clearer moral to the story at the end, but I’m starting to nitpick a little here.

All in all, a good interactive time was had by the kids, and they went away learning a bit more about yet another fairy tale, which in today’s world of Harry Potter, Ben Ten and Disney Princesses and the like, isn’t a bad thing at all.

I Theatre’s The Magic Porridge Pot is on till 7 June 2013 at the Alliance Française Theatre. You can book your tickets through SISTIC, call the SISTIC Hotline (65) 6348 5555 or at SISTIC Authorised Agents islandwide.

Read more about I Theatre’s Theatre For All programme that brings arts to the wider community and find out how you can do your part.

To extend your little day out at The Magic Porridge Pot for your children, you can have hands-on Fun with The Enormous Turnip and The Magic Pot Activity Sheets and more from Little Day Out Shop!

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