Storybook Theatre Productions have begun staging a nine-show theatrical production titled 'Imagine'. The show has various elements of theatre uncommonly seen on Jamaican stages. The production is more of a rolling montage of skits put together to make one performance. It is held together by the presence of signing performers in various stage positions throughout. 'Imagine' offers much to enjoy in sensory terms as well as it makes use of sound design, light effects, large scale puppetry, harnesses and suspension devices, animation technique, illuminating and fluorescent materials and mime.
Scenes range from choreographed tribute to the many phases of Michael Jackson; a gothic tale involving the illusions of time and space created by moving beautifully painted scenery panels; an underwater sequence reminiscent of Disney's 'Little Mermaid' but performed to 'The Yellow Submarine'; a mime involving french style tramps and-punchinello clowns; a highly dramatic old story time sequence; and a charming dream-like dance of an approximately life-size puppet girl and her dog dancing to Whitney Houston's much acclaimed 'I Believe the Children are our Future'.
The production is not without its flaws however as the connecting time between the various scenes could be further considered and a few other details sharpened. 'Imagine' is despite this, a unique experience within the Jamaican Performing Arts scene. It was in the second to last scene that the real message of the production was delivered: a call for society to respect, consider and use greater sensitivity to our hearing-impaired population. The message is of such importance that it is a shame that the tickets are not priced within the range which makes it affordable to wider audiences. It is said that the reason for the ticket price is the expensive overheads at The National Indoor Sporting Complex venue. The venue was used because it is the only stage in Kingston large enough to facilitate such an ambitious production. There are also reports that the request to the country's private sector to sponsor and enable cheaper tickets has been poor. The show could also be titled 'Believe' as it makes it believable that the diversity and innovation within the cultural sector is within reach.