PERFORMANCE with KL Shakespeare Players, Malaysia
Lessons learnt bring new life to online lessons
As Kien Lee and Soon Heng of KL Shakespeare Players (KLSP) polished up their series of ‘Macbeth’ performances, so other stories from The Journey Man repertoire were adapted for the growing online audience.
Children could advise the lion from the Arabian Nights’ ‘Sunovadam’ as to which land he would walk through and so influenced which animal he met first - donkey, horse or camel?
Children’s own pictures were incorporated into the animation for Brazil’s ‘Rainbow Phoenix’ story, providing the tale with a lively, colourful carnival finale.
All this as well as ‘Anansi and the Magic Pot’ from the Caribbean Islands, ‘Tenali Ramalinga’ from India, along with tales from South Africa and China. Even Lim Soon Heng’s own work, ‘A Hen-Made Tale’ was given an online airing, with plenty of audience interaction, before it eventually became a beautifully illustrated children’s book - see https://litbooks.com.my/product/a-hen-made-tale/.
And so we continued to build on our successes, learning how far we could push the animations and amaze people as to what we were able to achieve simply using Powerpoint!
And then came a tale told by four storytellers; the popular Russian fairytale of ‘The Fool of the World’.
Our adaption of this story was beautifully illustrated with each of the storytellers voicing a character as they told the tale. There were plenty of interaction opportunities for the audience who not only joined in by uttering the refrains and spells, but also discussed the decisions the protagonist could make using an online poll. They were able to throw a stone over the sea to wake up a sleeping running man. They chimed with the bell as it rang 12 times in the final countdown. And, of course, lots of fun was had as everyone danced along with the ‘Kalinka Malinka'.
This was KLSP’s first major online outing to schools all across Malaysia. ‘The Fool of the World’ proved to be a fun and engaging experience for children stuck at home, while giving them guided exposure to the English language. Of course, the presentation was followed up with worksheets to seal in the learning.
And for KLSP, the online doors continued to open…
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