Message behind piglet McDull's Christmas twist on toilet humour

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 December, 2012, 3:52am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 December, 2012, 4:09am

McDull: A Sentimental Little Christmas
City Hall Concert Hall
December 6

Each McDull production contains surprises. To link Christmas celebrations with excretion may go too far for some, but laughter and applause affirm the underlying message.

In its sixth year with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the annual concert, which ends  tonight, features the famous piglet in three Christmas-related stories told through music and animation.

The first is about the little drummer McDull, who performed in the snow but collected nothing to buy food for his ill mother. The sentimental melody from Greensleeves added to the pitiful scene on the big screen behind the orchestra, reducing  the full-house audience, mostly parents and kids, to silence.

The piglet's innocence in taking the angel's offer of three wishes by playing his drums thrice may cause sighing among smart kids. But the ending, when he  shared a baked potato with his recovered mother, commanded reflection on happiness. There was not a better moment to play Little Drummer Boy as the story ended with mother telling McDull: "I love your drum music."

Next was a  story about a turkey who joined McDull at kindergarten. A clueless bird, it made mistakes by drawing Santa in yellow and a red Christmas tree. Yet the piglet befriended it and they had fun playing together, fittingly portrayed by Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks from Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition

The audience turned restless with the story of Excrete Man, which began with McDull overeating at a Christmas meal. A poo in the toilet turned into a man-figure haunting the piglet in a nightmare. The scare gradually gave way to appreciation that it came from one's own body and became fertiliser for flowers.  Ingenious here was the  playing of Wagner's famous Ride of the Valkyries to depict the piglet flying with Excrete Man in the world of pus. Then came the moral from the brown figure: "When you see a lowly person, don't despise him or run away. At that moment, remember me."

The concert ended with O! Christmas Tree, which Ivana Wong, narrator and singer, along with conductor Yip Wing-sie and the two cartoon characters, led the audience to sing.