Tuesday, 16 March 2021

REVIEW: Jina and the STEM sisters by HMDT music (Online)

I took a visit (online of course) to watch an educational show called ‘Jina and the STEM sisters’. The show involved a little puppet named Jina. We followed her through a forest where she encountered several different empowering women through the ages. I think the message was wonderful as the aim of the STEM Sisters project is to inspire young people, especially girls to engage with and hopefully pursue an interest in STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. 

Puppetry was how the characters were portrayed in the story with a different range of puppetry skills, beautifully acted by Ruth Calkin and Nix Wood, that at times had me completely immersed in the characters and with the realistic movements, bringing the objects to life, which I found fascinating.

Throughout the piece, the music provided a mystical feeling and an element of mystery, as I followed Jina and her different encounters through the forest. Composer/Musical Director, Jenny Gould, gives us simplistic musical numbers that are engaging for a younger audience and also catchy choruses that have been stuck in my head ever since watching. 

The stand out puppet for me was Ada Lovelace and her musical rendition of ‘Do the Robot (Algorithm song)’. A type of puppet is a marionette style one, this is what Ada demonstrated, and watching this character I enjoyed the free movement she expressed when dancing to the funky house beat music. This combined with the complexity of the lyrics explaining mathematics had me head bopping and smiling throughout her performance. Once again lost in the world to a puppet?! Crazy! 

Overall the production was very thought out and would be very engaging for the youth and inspiring them into a future in STEM. As this was created in the pandemic, I look forward to the progression of this company and I believe they will benefit massively with human engagement rather than online, however this is a good start! 

Review by Corey Mitchell

Rating: ★★★

Seat: Online | Price of Ticket: £10
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