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Hiawatha - One4Review

The Portsmouth Grammar School present their adaptation of ‘Hiawatha’. For most adults of a certain age some of the lines of the poem Hiawatha are still ingrained, whether they still teach it or not I was fascinated to see it about to be performed this Fringe. The set is difficult to describe apart from the fact that to my imagination it suited the Native American lifestyle pre white man invasion. A circle of rocks, many long poles, a raised platform and a giant drum like sphere at the back of the stage. The main performers wear half-masks so that you are aware who is who. The chants and songs are adapted from those of several Traditional American Indian tribes including The Ojibwe, The Onondaga, Ottowa, Algonquin, Mohawk and Sioux. The lyrics to the songs are untranslatable as many are only chants, the dances are basically the stomp and the pow-wow. This is a fascinating show and worth seeing and hearing for the spectacular musical numbers. ****

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