Jihan's Smile

Alice McGuire, aged 10, was buoyed by this feel-good show about a girl who gets her smile back

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Jihan's Smile
Published 08 Aug 2017

What happens in the show?

There was a girl called Jihan who woke up one morning to discover that she had lost her smile, and everything in the town turned grey as a result. To return colour to the town, her dad sent a bird around the world to find and pay some people to come to the girl and try and make her smile.

Describe the show in five words

Cultural, exciting, fun, moral, good-ending (hopefully the hyphen makes that count as one word!)

Who was your favourite character and why? 

The bird was my favourite because he was funny and energetic and had a cool costume, and his physical comedy brought the show to life.  Also, when we entered the room I was wondering if anyone would actually use the swing.


Were there any characters you didn’t like? 

Not really, I thought all the characters were funny and unique in their own way. My dad didn’t like the Italian painter but he’s wrong!


What did you like most about the show? 

I liked the ending best, the way it all built up towards the outcome I had hoped for. It’s tricky saying too much about the end as it would give away the plot, but it is good to leave a show so positive and upbeat.


What didn’t you like about the show?

Although it was cool for the show to be in Arabic, I think if they spoke a bit more English that would’ve helped as I didn’t fully understand what was going on at all times. Subtitles are meant to tell you exactly what was said in the language being spoken, but I don’t think that happened for everything.


What did you think of the music?

It was good to have someone in the room playing the music live. The man playing all the instruments was very skilled, made no mistakes, and was impressive how he changed instruments and style to match what was going on in each scene.


What did your grown-up think of the show? 

My dad said, “It’s a sweet, simple and classic moral tale, but coming from an Arabic perspective gives it a cool spin for ‘Western’ audiences. I don’t think the show was as funny as they had hoped for, but then again there are things that were perhaps lost in translation. Perhaps a little bit more English or some periodic narration would help. It’s a show for young-ish kids, but I’m not sure if those that only speak English would know what’s going on.”

Would you tell your friends to come and see the show? 

Yes, my slightly younger friend who speaks Arabic would really enjoy it. The show is best for people a little bit younger than me, but only if they’re children that would pay attention so they can follow what’s happening.