Little Day Out’s Little Star Review – New Family-Friendly Show from I Theatre.
We often sing the song “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” without giving real thought about the star. After all, don’t we just call it a “star” and isn’t it one of a billion, high above in the night’s sky?
I Theatre’s brand new theatre show adds a fresh twist on this age-old rhyme by offering audiences a fresh perspective to the ditty from the viewpoint of its *ahem* star – Little Star.
Little Star is wondering about her identity and goes in search of a place she can truly call home. Accompanied by her friends Celeste and Cosmo, in the process, she discovers that home is where the heart is.
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Using Black Light and clever variations in the hall’s lighting, the audience was able to “travel” with Little Star on her quest.
We were taken to the bottom of the sea where it was pitch black with a beautifully executed coral centrepiece. Here, Little Star encountered animals such as a hermit crab, jellyfish, starfish and an anglerfish. The colourful glow-in-the-dark sea creatures delighted the audience.
In the realm of space, we experienced weightlessness as lights danced around the hall and illuminated balls, representing the elements of space, surrounded us. Children were delighted as they got to interact with the colourful spheres as they bounced around the room.
Back on earth, at Celeste’s and Cosmo’s house, the lighting was reminiscent of a moonlit night. The set was minimalistic yet imaginative and functional. I particularly liked the blackboard bushes and single window – a beautiful contrast to the colourful, dramatic worlds of the sea and space.
The use of long stretches of music, created specially for each sequence, enhanced the audience experience. As did the opportunities for audience participation with shouts of “‘Tar, ‘Tar” resonating throughout the room as young ones clamoured to help Cosmo spot Little Star.
Puppets were used to bring Celeste and Cosmo to life. The decision to use puppets, instead of having actors directly playing the parts, brought an interesting dimension to the show. Cleverly constructed, the puppets moved fluidly and could even write and grab things! Dressed in black suits, the actors “disappeared” into the shadows while expertly giving life to the characters.
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Artistic director and scriptwriter Brian Seward, together with his cast and crew, has been able to imaginatively adapt the familiar nursery rhyme and explore themes even young children can relate to such as sibling rivalry.
With recommended ages between from two to six, the show has to work at different levels for different age groups.
Younger audience members will be delighted by the show’s physical humour. There are entertaining comic scenes such as when Cosmo repeatedly pulls out scarves from his pockets like magic to irritate Celeste. They will also awed by the musical and colourful sequences under the sea and in space. At the show I attended, kids were happily identifying the various sea creatures and space elements on stage.
Older children will be no less captivated by the storyline and beauty of the show. Beyond understanding the plot, my five-year-old showed an appreciation of the meaningful themes of friendship and belonging presented.
And of course, everyone can expect to have great fun tossing the colourful balls around too. Even the adults!
Little Star is playing till 11 September 2016 at the Alliance Francaise Theatre. Tickets are available from SISTIC.