Jamal needs to cook a meal for his Grandmother. As night falls and the moon shines, the air is filled with magic. Join Jamal and his friend, a street dancing life-size monkey, as they summon the Genie of the Saucepan and travel the world to conjure a meal of imaginative splendour.
Moon & Genie had an evocative and enchanting live music score, featured a singing moon and a kitchen full of unexpected magical adventures.
Each performance was followed by a play session on the stage for the audience to share the different fruits which featured in the performance.
This production undertook a short national tour, opening for a run at the co-producer’s studio theatre.
This production was originally developed as part of the Half Moon’s 2009 Exchange for Change programme, and was chosen to be featured as a work-in-progress presentation at the Decibel Festival 2011 (Manchester)
Moon & Genie – Production trailer
“This magical, colourful little show for children aged 3-7 gives us Jamal (Mark Newnham) put to bed by his grandmother (Gwenllian Higginson). He dreams (or maybe it’s real?) that the moon – another version of Gran – tells him to prepare her a surprise breakfast. His two soft toys come to life to help him.
Higginson is warmly loving as Gran and a tranquil presence as Moon, framed above the action in the crescent which crowns Anna Crawley’s delightful set consisting mainly of saucepans. In lunar mode, Higginson speaks verse to music, sings, plays violin continuo and makes suggestions with wafting arms. Newnham captures the inquisitive anxiety and excitement of a young child and plays well off Jonny Ong as Maxwell the Monkey and Keshini Misha as Genie.
Ong is a rubber-bodied athlete who dances with great energy and the ongoing banana joke is fun. Misha gives us an engaging genie with attitude with a range of dance styles, including Bollywood, as the trio travel imaginatively to collect the “wrong” ingredients such as eggs from a cow and melons from the sea.
Moon and Genie manages to be both lyrical and exuberant and both hilarious and poignant. Quite an achievement in 45 minutes.”
Susan Elkin, The Stage, 25 March 2013
“A little Easter afternoon trip to the theatre… perfect! Except for my two woefully unenthusiastic children, post-dentist and definitely all “egged out”. Sceptical too as to whether they would enjoy it at their grand old ages of seven and 10. Desperate attempts to buoy them up melted faster than a chocolate egg in the elusive York spring sunshine.
What followed (in an eggshell) was a 40-minute fruit burst of storytelling, music and dance as the four characters cooked up a storm of delight in gran’s kitchen. Looking around the audience children and grannies alike were totally enthralled by this beautifully crafted story.
Night falls and the moon shines and serenades us with her magical song and soothing violin playing. A young boy, Jamal, prepares a special breakfast for his poorly gran. He is helped by his friend Maxwell, a hip hop street dancing life-size monkey (we were enthralled and wowed by his super cool dance moves) as they summon the Bollywood dancing Genie Of The Saucepan and travel the world to conjure a meal befitting a special granny.
Set against a fantastic wave of shiny pots, pans and colanders, we were drawn ever further into a dream-like world where the kitchen is most definitely the heart of the theatre!
At the end the children were invited to throw shapes with the cast and share bowls of fruit – yes they were set free on the dance floor, applauded and got their five-a-day! A feast for the eyes, ears, soul, and spirit – and not a chocolate egg in sight. I loved it.
As for my two bunnies they were indeed nourished by just the right amount of enchantment. In their words: “magical” (the ten year old), “extraordinary” (the seven year old).”
Vanessa White, York Mix, 4 April 2013