A magic musical for children ─ and by children

The child performers have played a key role in creating the original musical "The Search of Sound."
Ti Gong

The original Chinese children's musical "The Search of Sound" will premiere at the Shanghai Grand Theater on November 10-12, featuring more than 20 talented children.

It is based on a 2013 Chinese movie of the same name which was taken to the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.

It centers on a boy moving to a city from his carefree life in the countryside. He has a bottle for collecting magic sound, and with its help he makes new friends.

But pressure from his parents and living in the real world forces the boy to break his bottle and abandon his dream. His friends try to help him get the bottle back.

Twenty-four talented children from the Yangtze River Delta region have been selected out of more than 230 candidates for the musical. It stars Chen Yu'ao, a 10-year-old boy who plays Simba in the Chinese-version of "Lion King" at the Shanghai Disney Resort.

Instead of having the child performers learn set lines, director Zhang Chenting chose to work with them to create the musical.

Except for the 35 songs with lyrics and some basic dance guidelines, Zhang encouraged the youngsters to come up with their own movements based on their interpretations of the characters and the plot.

"They don't have to be perfect, just be themselves," said Zhang. "I believe that the audiences are not here for their performing skills, but for their stories as real children."

The child performers also made most of the props out of recycled waste, with the help of professional prop designers.

Performance details

Date: November 10-12, 2pm, 7:30pm

Tickets: 50-320 yuan

Tel: 6386-8686

Venue: Shanghai Grand Theater

Address: 300 People's Ave

Ti Gong
Ti Gong

Props are made out of recycled waste.

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