The Dandelion’s Story – another Edinburgh hit

Colin Bartlett gives a thumbnail sketch of another Edinburgh Fringe production by Modl Theatre, from Korea:

A delightful well-crafted show for children and adults SterneSterneSterneSterneSterne

Dandelion_posterI’m much older than a child, but I liked it a lot, and the others in the audience, both children and adults, seemed to be enjoying it as well. The production values and care taken are at a very high level: costumes; scenery; lighting; and some of the performers are waiting in costume just outside the performance space before the show to greet the audience, especially the children — so take a camera for that.

The performances are very sharp: for example, the hen and chicks move like chickens, and the sparrow has some of the street hip credibility of Cat from Red Dwarf!

The story is easy to follow, and there is also some English dialogue to help. (And the back of the postcard flyer gives some useful background).

This year edfringe.com doesn’t have links to external reviews: since two of these write about this show much better than I can, I will copy them here:

Three Weeks rating SterneSterneSterneSterneSterne:

Greeted by a very friendly giant white puppy, any adult audience member will quickly realise that this show is mainly intended for children; but he or she will nonetheless be charmed by much of what follows. The story begins when the aforementioned dog does his doggy business and the resulting poo magically transforms into our surprisingly sweet faecal protagonist. The story is a charming parable of the natural world, told through narrative dance, which explores the existential theme of self-worth (ugly duckling style). A spectacular lights show is the highlight: young and old will be enthralled as stars dance before their eyes. The performances are faultless, the costumes marvellous, the special effects dazzling; overall, a beautiful production.

The Stage a “Must See” (Review by Brian G Cooper):

Modl Theatre’s lively and colourful presentation of Jung-Saeng Kwon’s children’s fairy tale best-seller certainly enhances Korean companies’ reputation for theatrical excellence at the Fringe in recent years.

Its unlikely theme of a doggy-poo everyone rejects as disgusting, but is finally welcomed by a dandelion seed to enable it to bloom, is brought to life with boundless charm and great visual appeal by the talented, young, six-member cast and narrator Na-Eun Park.

Brown furry-clad Yoo-Sin Seol delights as cute Doggy-poo, sadly rejected by Clod of Earth, a large, elaborately feathered Sparrow, and multi-hued Mother Hen and Chicks, all zestfully dancing and wildly gesticulating their disapproval. But borne by the Spring Wind, Dandelion Seed proves Doggy-poo is useful after all, as she bursts out of rain-washed poo into glorious yellow blossom.

Delightfully costumed, these endearing characters’ quick movements and short dance sequences – composed by Eun-Ha Kim and Soo-Jung Seok – inter-woven with comic action and set to Seung-Hwan Yang’s catchy tunes, maintain the pace under Jung-Sook Kim’s tight direction.

Modl Theatre triumphs with this very joyful piece with all-age appeal.

The Dandelion’s Story runs till 31 August 2009.

Links:

5 thoughts on “The Dandelion’s Story – another Edinburgh hit

  1. two reviews from http://www.edfringe.com:

    **** Uplifting 29 Aug 2009 – reviewer: Emma, Scotland
    I wasn’t sure at first whether to go and see this show, because it is a children’s show. But I’d read some good reviews and I’d enjoyed A Love in Dream by the same company last year so I decided to give it a go. I’m really pleased that I did. I really want to thank one of the actresses, Na-Eun Park (who plays the Story Girl) because she had a long chat with me before the performance, and explained the story and the elements of Korean culture that had been worked into the performance. I was really moved by the performance in all sorts of ways. It was very very funny in places, but I was moved to tears in other places. The actors are very welcoming to the audience, and sitting in the front row I found that they interacted with me a lot. The costumes are wonderful and inventive, and there are some wonderful lighting effects like using shadows projected through the backdrop, and hand-held lights that created an effect like dancing fireflies. The characters were wonderful, from the cuteness of the dog and the doggy poo, to the humour of the sparrow, the clod of earth and the hen and chicks. There’s a lot of depth to the story with ideas of reincarnation and self-worth. It was a really uplifting performance.

    ***** charming and good fun 17 Aug 2009 – reviewer: gwynneth, uk
    a children’s story which appeals to all ages. Brilliantly choreographed and presented. Charming and terrific fun for all.

  2. a third review from http://www.edfringe.com:
    ***** We are all children 31 Aug 2009 – reviewer: Michael, Wales
    This was one of the shows that I saw this year which succeeded in capturing the magic that I hope to find in theatre productions. Everything was perfect – costumes, lighting and the story, all enhanced by the enormous energy of the performers. Watch out for their (brief?) tour on Britain.

  3. And another one from our friend Youngmi:

    * Dandelion’s story*

    Yes, I told you when I heard the music coming out from the stage I had tears in my eyes. ‘my hometown that I used to live…’ The relic starts like that and the song was just the one I grew up singing nearly everyday when I was a little child. My mum still sings when she is happy. I realised that I’ve been far away from home too long.

    I really liked the story giving us a warm hearted lesson and the actors as the doggy poo, and the earth were very impressive. My friend Li kept saying she regretted that she didn’t bring her daughter. It was amazing to see that a play can move people’s heart in a wide range of age gab from the kids to the adults. I see the doggy pooh’s life isn’t that different from the ordinary people’s daily life anyway. Now I know which book to give to my little niece for her birthday in Korea.

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