Thursday, February 28, 2013

REVIEW: The Animals and Children Took the Street by 1927

Hong Kong City Hall Theatre, Thursday February 21

“Trust no one! Suspect even your own shadow!” was the warning in the Festival Booking Guide on The Animals and Children Took the Street. When I was offered a little brown bag right outside the theatre by a Caucasian lady in 60’s costume, I was most curious until she insisted that I eat it before entering the theatre… hmmm… quickly, my curiosity changed to suspicion… There was really nothing much to be suspicious about for I figure that the lady was required to instruct the audience to eat the sweet before entering the theatre because one is not allowed to eat or drink anything in the theatre… yes, very un-British and one of the few things I am glad that Hong Kong didn’t inherit from its colonial past.

That strange experience outside the theatre though pervades what will happen inside. This little peculiar play by the theatre company 1927 was written and directed by Suzanne Andrade. It was about the life in a seamy neighborhood block, Bayou Mansions, on the fringe of a big city. While the location is populated with all sorts of social outcasts, it was the unexpected employment of child-pirates that ran amok and took over a middle-class park and kidnap the mayor’s cat that made this show delightfully alienating.

The 70-minute show without interval enchanted the audience with a strange story that was told in a strange way. The multiple roles were skillfully performed with only three artists - Sue Appleby, Lewis Barfoot and Eleanor Buchan. The sardonic quips, the interaction between the animation and the performers, the odd accent and the white-face make-up on the female trio rendered through an eccentric mix of Berlin cabaret with Russian productivism echoed the very social message it was trying to make.

Don’t expect to be wowed, but instead expect to be oddly charmed.
_____
The Animals and Children Took the Street
Produced by 1927

Directed & Written SUZANNE ANDRADE
Film and Animation by PAUL BARRITT
Music by LILLIAN HENLEY
Costume by SARAH MUNRO & ESME APPLETON
Performed by LEWIS BARFOOT, ELEANOR BUCHAN and SUE APPLEBY

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1 Comments:

At February 28, 2013 at 12:36 PM , Blogger Meaghan said...

Disagree. I was wowed by it from a design perspective. One of the most inventive and truly original productions I've seen in years. I loved every second of it.

 

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