Today marks World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People and the Half Moon Young People’s theatre is celebrating with a new play championing healthy eating.
Award-winning writer Tanika Gupta’s Moon & Genie plays at the venue until 28 March and tells the story of Jamal and his friend Maxwell, a street dancing life-size monkey.
Suitable for children aged three to seven-years-old, Moon & Genie sees the pair embark on a journey around the world courtesy of the Genie of the Saucepan as they conjure a meal of imaginative splendour for Jamal’s grandmother.
Directed by Half Moon’s Chris Elwell, the production features Bollywood and street dancing, a singing moon and a kitchen packed full of enchanting magic. At the end of the performance, Jamal invites the children on stage to play and share the fruit he has collected on his travels.
Speaking about the production and its timely opening, Elwell said: “We have a packed house on World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People for our production of Moon & Genie, an exciting and action-packed show to get imaginations running wild. There is music, singing, Bollywood and street dancing and some beautiful costumes and pieces of set. We hope that our friends at the children’s theatres across London welcome many more people through their doors too.”
World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People calls for parents, grandparents and guardians to take children to the theatre and introduce them to the magical and enriching pastime. War Horse writer and supporter of the campaign Michael Morpurgo explained the importance of the worldwide celebration, saying: “Shakespeare once wrote ‘The play’s the thing’… and he was right, but not entirely right, actually! The story’s the thing and the play is simply the most powerful way of telling it. The power of theatre, whether for young or old, lies in the collaboration of stories and ideas, the actors (and everyone back stage too of course) and most importantly the audience; we all make the play together, live it together, suspending disbelief together, bound in the same imaginative endeavour.
“For young people, coming to the theatre for the first time, the effect is electrifying, utterly compelling. It is live in front of their eyes, the story, the spectacle, the music, the lighting, the movement, the sound, the actors. Such an experience can change young lives. It informs and enriches us all.”