8.26.2015

I Theatre : Jewels in the Tale review




Jewels in the Tale
MEDIA INVITE
 
An afternoon delight awaits us as we headed down to Alliance Francaise Theatre for I Theatre latest production 'Jewels in the tale'.



When we read the synopsis, it was a tad difficult to explain the show to the boys. This production is not a musical or a play that they were accustomed to. Instead it is a collection of short stories that is told in through energetic physical theatre, masks and puppetry. It was with an open mind what we approached the show. After all our aim was to expose the boys to many different types of theatre and this production fits the bill.





The Synopsis (Source)
Jewels in the Tale is a marvellous and mischievous production, featuring a very carefully selected collection of stories and folklore from around the region. This is a brand new fusion of two of our most acclaimed productions Dancing With Dragons and Under The Dragon Moon (both of which garnered Five Star reviews in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe). We searched for suitable tales from all over South East Asia… and now we bring you The Crane’s Gratitude from Japan, Tenali Raman and the Three Thieves from India, and The Four Dragons, from China, amongst others. Each tale is told in a different style, with elements of Japanese Noh, Classical Indian Dance, Chinese opera blended with western styles of broad slapstick fun and energy. 

Comprising of 8 stories told in an average of 5 minutes each, Jewels in the tale is an engaging fast pace production. In simpler terms this is similar to a story telling session where someone from the cast would narrate the story while it is being played out on stage. Taking stories from all over the world, each story tells a tale that expose the children to different cultures in the countries it originates from.

From the day dreaming Mat Jenin (Malaysia) who dreams about the riches he can buy form picking coconuts to the morale lessons learn from The Hermit and the Two worms ( Philippines) ; each tale is entertaining and engaging in its own right. In addition, the children can pick a lesson or two from them. Throughout the show, I was discussing the theme of each stories and what we have learn from it. Surprisingly, it was an engaging affair even though each stories is no longer than 10 minutes.
Performer's Bio
The standout performances will be the 4 cast members. Together they bought out the different flavors unique to the individual tales. We were transported to Malaysia with its accent, to Japan with its grace, to China with its majestic Dragons. In a short span of 50 minutes, we experienced Asia colourful heritage of folktales presented with aplomb from the versatile and talented cast. Tied this performances with Western humor and slapstick, the production delivers both in wit and energy.
The Stage
Our standout favourite tales would be the hiliarous Tenali Rahman and the Three Thieves from South India and The Four Dragons from China. Look out the hip hop Black Dragon from The Four Dragons that left the audience in stitches. As for those sitting near the front, be prepare for a 'rainy' experience!

The stage itself is a simple affair, but the performances are what made this production engaging and entertaining. We recommend this performance for children age 5 and up to truly enjoy and understand the tales told.
Jewels in the tale
After the show, we learned from the post credits that I Theatre is a registered charity that often gives out tickets of the show to underprivileged group for them to enjoy the show. It was commendable for them to create top quality shows for children and families without the aim to make money.
As it is usually a major challenge to raise funds to bring in new productions, any help to support the clause would be welcome. Head down to their webpage to find out how you can support this cause.
Alliance Francasie Theatre
The Little Details
Jewels in the Tale
17-30 August
Alliance Francaise Theatre*
Tickets can be purchase here
*Do note that parking is limited in Alliance Francasie Theatre. We do advise to be there early or consider taking public transport. The next nearest carpark is at Balmoral Plaza that is located about 200m away.


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