Review-The Snail and the Whale-ABA Productions


By: Meaghan McGurgan

There is obviously a huge demand for high quality, children's entertainment in Hong Kong. ABA Productions has made it their mission to fill this void. Their most recent production is The Snail and the Whale playing at APA this weekend. It is adapted from the best selling picture book by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler. Fans of the book will not be disappointed as the stage version has all the best parts of the book in it.


I was a bit worried about seeing a stage version of it, to be honest. The book is only 32 pages and takes about ten minutes to read at most. How was it going to translate with only three actors being used? We've all seen beloved children's books destroyed by adaptations that used too much filler. This adaptation used story-telling and a relationship built between a child and father to help tell the story of The Snail and the Whale. I enjoyed the set up and thought the actors did a nice job transitioning between the characters.


The set design by Isla Shaw was my favorite part of the show. It was beautifully whimsical and its transformative abilities made kids gasp with glee when the whale was revealed hidden within the set design. It made you feel like you were in the ocean just by looking at it. I thought the use of the port hole in the snail shell shaped wall was also very clever. It allowed for things like shadow puppetry to be added to the piece as a theatrical device.


The integration of the violin into the sound design was excellent. I loved the way that Eva Tausig played and made her violin sound like the whale's voice. I do think that the sound level was a bit loud at times, as some toddlers in the audience got frightened by the screeching noises and we couldn't hear some of the dialogue over the violin parts.


I would recommend The Snail and the Whale to any parent or teacher with primary aged students. I do think that older kids will get a little bored with the content as it is a bit young for them. Show runs about one hour, which makes it perfect for young kids with short attention spans. It is my understanding that there are very few tickets left for this production so if you are wanting to take your family to go see it you better get on it...


The Snail and the Whale is playing at the HKAPA Drama Theatre through Sunday. Various show times, including matinees. Click here for more details.

Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: ---


  • HKMom
    13 October 2012

    Again, why are the tickets for this company so much? 400HKD for one hour is just too much for most families when they have multiple children.
  • Brad
    18 October 2012

    Ms. McG your reviews are always short, sweet and to the point. Your critques are valid and you don't fill the page with mindless filler describing every lamp post on stage. I can tell why you're the editor of this thing but I wish you would edit the other writers down more. I like your style best and the others should be following your suit.

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