e live in a time where theatrical plays - thanks to NAPA as well as many others – are a regularly practiced art. From music gigs to films to theatre, adults do have a superior choice. But, do children have access to the kind of live events they ought to? Nope.
To that end, Nida Butt and Hamza Jafri of the Karachi-based MAD School put their heads together to create a musical designed primarily for children. Nida wrote the script and Hamza composed six original songs as part of the musical.
The cast does not include theatrical legends as protagonists but a group of children and their unique adventures. The songs don’t appear out of the blue but emerge when the moment is right.
For the first song, ‘Rikshaw’, the background is how The Bobbles are on their way back from the beach but miss the bus. “They catch a rickshaw and sing/perform this song,” noted Hamza who is also featured on the vocals with The Bobbles with all songs sung live.
We could tell you more about The Bobbles but watching them perform is where you realize how educational and fun this genre of theatre can be for adults and children alike.
As for ‘Rikshaw’, this is Hamza Jafri composing at his best. The song, drenched in a rock atmosphere, eventually flips to electro-pop. Beyond the sonic landscape, the song is such fun and can appeal to anyone who has sat in a rickshaw or doesn’t know what the experience is like. But the jovial sense with which it is written and sung rings through the words and music. For anyone who may think The Bobbles will appeal to children alone shouldn’t fret. While designed particularly for children, it has that optimistic flavour that will appeal to adults as well. You may end up bopping your head the more you listen to it.
It is a herculean effort to take the risk of designing a show for children that will make you smile at the end of the song. But like previous efforts on theatrical music we’ve seen, Hamza Jafri gets it right and given his background as music teacher for children, this was a natural fit.
– Catch The Bobbles at MAD School in
Karachi on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays in August.