Theatre Performance Review of ‘ Yan Se Bu Jian Le

Oct 03

Contributed by Ms. KIM-CHUA (MA. In Educational Studies University Of York, UK)

Freelance theatre critic, Arts Educator and Educational Services Consultant

Staged by Apple Pie Language

Performed by Apple Pie Language teachers and Apple Pie Language Child Talents

Written and Directed by Ms. Ai Jia Qi

Performed at NTUC Business Centre Auditorium

Performed on

13.09.2012 (9.30 am//11.30am//2.30pm)

14.09.2012 (9.30 am//11.30am//2.30pm//8.00pm)

Duration 90 minutes (with no intermission)

Performed in Mandarin with English subtitles


This lively and highly interactive production is about the wonderful adventures that a group of pixies from an enchanted and faraway land had to undertake when their beloved village came under a mysterious and powerful spell which caused all their surroundings and fellow pixies to be frozen in time and lose all their colors.

Left with no choice, the pixies very reluctantly embarked on an arduous and transformational journey To Rainbow Cliff which saw them encounter difficult terrain, strange creatures and a fearsome witch.

Along their journey to Rainbow Valley, they not only learnt valuable lessons of life but they also gained valuable and deeply reflective insights into their own fears, insecurities, strengths and shortcomings. In doing so, this consequently sparked off a process of internal transformation which also inspired and helped their friends to grow and become kinder and more selfless in the process.


Some of the main themes which were explored in the production include classic and enduring values such as friendship, positive self-transformation, courage, loyalty and love for one another.
Artistic Direction

Overall, Ms. Ai Jia Qi has done a great job in conceptualizing, writing and directing the production which leaves the audience with a warm and fuzzy feeling that human nature is inherently good and that we can all strive to be our personal best when we put our minds to it and when we put ourselves before others.

In addition, the choice of accompanying music was also appropriate and adequately reflected the moods of the cast as they experienced self-doubt, fear and eventually triumph over their deep set fears and phobias.

Overall Cast Performance

Overall, the cast must be commended for their highly energetic and interactive performance which saw them perform for a full 90 minutes without intermission. Despite facing the physical challenges that accompanied a very tight performance schedule of staging 3 shows on opening day and another 4 shows on the last day, their spirits remained high and the cast tackled their roles with much energy, pride , professionalism and gusto!

More significantly, being highly experienced Apple Pie Language Speech and Drama teachers themselves, the cast did a fantastic job at projecting their voices, using body language to project stage presence and good timing in coordinating and making their entrances and exits.


These include the cast who performed the respective roles of the fearsome witch as played by Ms. Cai Wei, the village head as played by Ms. Zhong Qian, little spider as played by Zou Wei, little bunny as performed by Ms. Wan Ting, the respectable Granny Pixie as played by Ms. Gong Li, Big Spider as played by Ms. Swee Chin and village pixie as performed by Ms. Wei Wei.

Particularly, much credit should be awarded to the actor and actresses who performed the main roles of Qi-Qi, Xiao-Xiao and Cong-Cong with much realism, professionalism and relevance.

Qi-Qi as performed by Ms. Zhang Jia was convincing in her role as a quick-tempered, fiercely loyal but brash pixie who is determined to save her friends and even hapless strangers in danger. As the story unfolds, her strong sense of loyalty and commandarie for fellow travelers which sometimes borders on recklessness and foolishness endears her to the audience who fear for her safety when she fell into the clutches of a fearsome witch as she tried unsuccessfully to save a hapless and helpless little spider.

Xiao-Xiao as performed by Mr. Hai Bing was endearing in his role as a timid and overly-paranoid pixie who was subsequently transformed into one who was braver and more selfless as he encountered difficult circumstances which left him little choice but to change for the better. As the story unfolds, the audience witnessed the demonstrations of courage and loyalty that Xiao Xiao undertook as he volunteered himself for the undesirable role of journeying alone to the treacherous forest to retrieve a magical herb in exchange for his friends’ safety.

Cong-Cong as performed by Ms. Ye Bing was relatable in her role as an intelligent but selfish pixie who loved to play pranks for a laugh at her friends’ expense. As the story unfolds, the audience witnessed her transformation for the better as she realized the eternal and enduring value of friendship, unity and love for one another when she witnessed the selfless demonstrations of courage as displayed by her friends Qi-Qi and Xiao-Xiao when they put themselves at risk in their attempt to rescue a hapless and helpless little spider who had fallen in the clutches of a fearsome witch.

In addition, the child talents should also be commended for putting up an adorable but well-coordinated first public performance in their twin roles as little pixies and little spiders. They delivered their lines with smooth delivery and worked well with the rest of the cast who were mostly their Chinese Speech and Drama teachers.

Technical Aspects

In addition to the fine acting put up by the cast of Apple Pie Language, the sets which were simple in their design were particularly impressive as they were lovingly created by their own teachers who used up their weekends toiling over their labor of love.

In particular, the sets and props were also very innovative in its design as they did not require much assembly and dismantling. More significantly, most of the sets were created out of readily available recycled materials such as cardboard, newspapers which reflected Apple Pie Language standard practice of supporting environmental friendly practices and reducing unnecessary wastage of resources whenever possible.

Furthermore, the costumes as worn by the cast were both simple and functional in their designs which aided and facilitated the easy movement of the cast as they stepped off the stage at times to come up close and personal with their audience and interact with them. In addition, it was bright, eye-catching and appropriate for their roles as pixies, spiders, bunny and a witch.


In conclusion, it could be said that the performance as displayed by Apple Pie Language was one that captivated the hearts and imagination of all present not only with the infectious energy of the cast but also with their one consistent , clear message of urging the audience to look within themselves.

“The colours of your heart are the most beautiful colours of them all”

As the quote aptly describes and reminds all of us, great beauty is within all of us and most of all, it is in our hearts that therein, lies not only the most beautiful colours of human nature but also contains the potential that we can all endeavor to be when we put others before ourselves and embrace enduring values such as loyalty, selflessness and love for one another.

_______________________ End of Review_______________________

Profile of Critic

Ms. KIM-CHUA is a freelance theatre critic who is trained professionally in Educational studies specializing in innovative teaching strategies to foster and facilitate the language learning process.

Her avid personal interest and involvement in the arts started when she was a student and in her capacity as a Props/Talent Manager in the English Speech and Drama Club of her school and was subsequently strengthened during her university years as a member of the NUS Theatre Studies Club.

In addition, she has also previously co-written scripts for a children’s programme for a cable channel in her work as a freelance script writer at a locally based production house.

More recently, she is a strong champion of using innovative mediums such as Speech and Drama, Music and Movement to facilitate and enhance the language learning experience for children.

She is currently partnering Apple Pie Language as an external consultant to share best practices in language teaching excellence and contributes to the organization primarily in terms of professional development, curriculum and syllabus improvement, conceptualization of new programmes and innovative language teaching strategies.

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