Jina and the STEM Sisters ★★★★★ HMDT Music (online) | Mar 15 - Apr 11, 2021


Rachel Barnett-Jones and Jenny Gould's Jina and the STEM Sisters enchanted us with ingeniously presented puppetry which invited us to join young Jina's quest for some unusual birthday presents. In a gorgeous forest, superbly designed by Sophia Lovell Smith, and with the aid of two brilliant puppeteers, Ruth Calkin and Nix Wood, Jina meets a number of scientists in her thirst for knowledge. These scientists all happen to be women, most of whom have often been virtually overlooked by history, including Wang Zhenyi, Ada Lovelace, Maria Sibylla Merian and Marie Curie. In addition, we meet the film star, Hedy Lamarr, who was, surprisingly, also an inventor. Each inventor bestows a special gift on Jina, among them being curiosity, courage and persistence. This is an intelligent and entrancing entertainment that never preaches or speaks down to its intended audience of seven to eleven year-olds and, with the help of some pleasant and varied songs, there is never a dull moment. Children are encouraged to be like Jina and to look at everything. Perhaps, one of the greatest gifts offered our protagonist is that of open-mindedness. The message that too many female scientists have been ignored isn't overplayed, but the show most definitely celebrates the contributions of some insufficiently recognised women of science. A gift that is very evident here is that of creativity; the show looks simply gorgeous throughout. This is a production that can be appreciated on several levels and it is most definitely worth seeing with your children. Here we have entertainment that encourages you to “reserve your right to think.”

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Photo by Clive Barda.

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