HONK! Jr Review | Adelaide Fringe
By Catherine Leo
“Honk! Jr” is an exceptionally high quality production of a modern version of Hans Christian Anderson’s tale “The Ugly Duckling”.
Honk! Jr is performed by the Young Australian Broadway Chorus, which is a course for 8 -18 year olds. I was utterly impressed with their professionalism as I regularly scanned the stage to view the talented individuals who made up the group. The stage had such a ‘full’ and vibrant appearance as the show ebbed and flowed from a small number of characters, to a farmyard of animals in song! Costume changes were swift so someone who was once a turkey transformed into a goose mid-show, then a frog and back to a turkey by show’s end!
The story follows the life of Honk who is born to Ida and Drake the ducks, and looks very different to his yellow duckling siblings. He’s rejected by almost all except his mother who loves him regardless of his different appearance.
“Different is just, well, different”, sings Honk.
Particular stand-out moments for me were the eggs hatching, the army of geese, and when Honk was learning to swim and the stage transformed into a waterscape with amazing silks. The frog scene was also fabulous as they sang “Out there, someone’s gonna love ya warts and all”. There were many more smile-inducing songs too and the costumes were brilliant! I also love a good pun so there was plenty to keep me happy!
Although it’s a modern adaption of a fairy tale, I did note that the female and male domestic roles are portrayed as quite old-fashioned ‘mother’ and ‘father’ stereotypes; Ida saying sarcastically to her young ducklings about their newly met father “Take a good look because you probably won’t see him that often”, or Drake lamenting being left with the ‘joys of motherhood’ (ironing, parenting, feeding the kids) when Ida left to find Honk after his disappearance. There is also one small shady moment when Drake meets his future daughter-in-law and seems to take a liking to her, which was a bit awkward.
I truly was very entertained and thought the performers were brilliant. The crowd was largely younger children (5 and under) at our viewing and I think school aged kids might enjoy it more, and I and the grandparents in the audience were smiling all the way through.
Congratulations to the YABC for your incredible passionate and energetic performances.
Book your tickets to HONK! Jr. now on the Adelaide Fringe website or read more about the show here.
What: Honk! Jr – The Musical Tale of the Ugly Duckling
When: Remaining shows Thursday 16 & Friday 17 March 2017 at Odeon Theatre; Saturday 18 March at Golden Grove Arts Centre
Where: Odeon Theatre | Queen Street, Norwood
Play & Go Adelaide have media access to the Adelaide Fringe 2017. All reviews are our own opinion from personal experience, unpaid and not influenced by the artist/s and/or promoter/s in any way.
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
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