Paintings star in kids' magical interactive art show

Fascinating magic play "One Starry Night – Out of the Blue" has reached Shanghai on its national tour.
Paintings star in kids' magical interactive art show
Ti Gong

A scene from magic drama “One Starry Night — Out of the Blue”

Fascinating magic play “One Starry Night — Out of the Blue” has reached Shanghai on its national tour. Following successes in Beijing, Suzhou and Hangzhou, the drama will be staged at the city’s Lyceum Theater on May 3 and 4. 

Set in an art gallery, the play is a blend of painting, music and interactive magic. 

The audience is led into an enchanted world of art where scenes from famous paintings from home and abroad come to life with the help of multimedia. 

The show tells the stories behind works by Van Gogh, Monet, Kandinsky and others, with live piano accompaniment from Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven.

More than 30 masterpieces are used, including Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and Wang Ximeng’s “A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains.”

Children are invited to paint on stage with the cast. 

The play is the first created by the GrandBoat Culture Co. It took artistes from France and the United States more than eight months to come up with the production.

According to the company’s Chairman You Xinghua, who is also the producer of the show, the play is a bold attempt at artistic creation. 

“We hope to make aesthetics and art more accessible to today’s children,” he said. “In the future we will present more innovative productions for Chinese families.”

The show will also be staged in Shenzhen, Nanjing, Xi’an, Qingdao and Chengdu.

In terms of the market potential for children’s drama in China, many theater troupes are working on plays with novel styles and elements.

“The Solar System” by young local director Lu Yisha combined visually stunning elements of black light theater with puppetry to explore the secrets of space. 

With black curtains and a darkened stage, children were immersed in “The Solar System” and excited by their interactions with the planetary characters on the stage.

At last year’s 6th Shanghai International Puppet Festival, director He Nian brought an original puppetry epic “The Last War Elephants.” Based on a hit novel by Shen Shixi, the play displayed the latest technology of Chinese puppetry. Many were impressed by the huge elephant puppet, spectacular scenes and exquisite props.

Director He told media that the show was a theatrical attempt to tell Chinese legends and stories in a universal language. He invited the Olivier and Tony Award-winning design studio 59 Productions to create some of the play’s visuals.

The future is bright for children’s drama as families increase their expenditure on education, culture and art.

“More original children’s shows are being produced these days,” said Chen Daming, a critic with the Shanghai Dramatists Association. 

“However, not all of them are well received. A good children’s drama should convey healthy and positive messages. Its story and presentation should be interesting and novel,” said Chen.


Date: May 3, 7:30pm; 

May 4, 10:30am, 3:30pm, 7:30pm

Tickets: 180-380 yuan

Tel: 1010-3721

Venue: Lyceum Theater

Address: 57 Maoming Rd S.

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