Lilliput Theatre Premieres “The Emperor’s New Clothes”

May 9, 2008 – Port of Spain, Trinidad:- Trinidad and Tobago’s audiences will be taken on a thought-provoking and imaginative journey with Lilliput Theatre’s adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes.  The production will premiere on Friday May 16, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. at Queen’s Hall and will run throughout the weekend.

The young thespians will offer two versions of the classic tale emphasising the relevance of the story’s metaphor in today’s society.   Lilliput’s junior drama class will stay true to the original tale, telling the story as presented by the original author.  Contrasting the traditional story is the seniors’ presentation from the perspective of ‘guntas’ or gangsters.  In this alternate offering the young actors use the vernacular and culture of their familiar Caribbean landscape, drawing a parallel to contemporary society that any Caribbean audience could relate to.  The play’s director, Wendell Manwarren, saw this year’s project as a means of facilitating the youth’s reconnection with the art of storytelling.  “The reason why all good stories endure is that they are applicable over time.  Certainly if we are aware of what is going on right now, we can see where it will apply,” he said.

The production came out of the creative mind of designer and artist, Merylle Mahabir whose theme and conceptual costume designs served as a catalyst for the Lilliputians playwriting process.  Every year, Noble Douglas, Lilliput’s artistic director, producer and choreographer is challenged with creating choreography that stays true to the theme while accommodating Mahabir’s abstract and unconventional costume designs.  “It is a very difficult process that often calls me to look within myself.  I work with children and teenagers of a range of abilities so this is an integral consideration in my compositions,” reflected Douglas.  The end result is an intricately woven play that carefully balances the elements of dance, drama and costuming.

Lilliput Theatre teaches drama to children aged 7 to 18 and dance to children aged 3 to 18.  It was founded in 1975 and encourages self-confidence through the challenge of theatre, game play and imagination.  Juxtaposing rising concerns for indiscriminate government spending with growing complacency in society, Lilliput’s 2008 production is well timed.

WHAT: The Emperor’s New Clothes

WHO: Lilliput Theatre

Friday May 16, 2008 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday May 17, 2008 at 5:30 p.m.
Sunday May 18, 2008 at 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Queen’s Hall, St. Anns, Port of Spain

TICKETS: $80 adults/$60 children
Crosby’s Music Centre, St. James or students of Lilliput Theatre

- Photos courtesy Eric Grims.