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Archive for February, 2015

Ever since our successful outing to watch a performance in Mandarin last year, I’ve been on the lookout for other Mandarin shows, especially those with familiar story lines. The upcoming production of Goldilocks and the Three Bears by the Singapore Repertory Theatre’s The Little Company (TLC) fits the bill. TLC is lauching its 2015 season with a Mandarin version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears which was first staged in English in 2013 to sell-out houses.

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Like the English version, the Mandarin production will feature music and lyrics by the Laurence Olivier award-winning West-End musical theatre songwriting duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. We watched the English version and I remember the boys liking the porridge song very much, so I’m really looking forward to hearing that sung in Mandarin.

Mina Kaye, Dwayne Tan, Kristy Griffin and Aaron Khaled in SRT's The Little Company's Goldilocks and the Three Bears (2013) (1)

Shocked to find a girl in Baby Bear’s bed! (Picture courtesy of SRT, taken from the 2013 English production)

This is a classic story that teaches young children not to fiddle with the belongings of others, lest there be consequences to bear. If you loved the English version, don’t miss the chance to join the cast as they bring your child on an exciting Mandarin journey!

** Giveaway**

SRT has kindly sponsored 2 tickets to be given away to one reader for Goldilicks and the Three Bears in Mandarin on Sunday, 15 Mar, 11am.

To qualify, simply leave a comment below by 12 Feb (Thu), 6pm stating what would upset you most – having your porridge eaten, your chair broken, or your bed slept in – and why! Don’t forget to leave me your email address so I can contact you if you win.

Bear hugs to everyone!

The winning entry will be selected at random from all qualifying entries and the winner will be announced here in the comments section of this post, and will be contacted via email.  The winner will have 24 hours to respond, failing which another winner will be selected. Tickets will be available for collection on the day itself at the performance venue.

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Study Buddy

So one morning I walked into the boys room to find Ellery helping Asher with his spelling practice! Ellery was telling Jon how important his job was, and that he couldn’t go and do whatever it was Jon was asking him to do because he needed to help Asher.

Brothers that study together, stay together?

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Ellery dictating, Asher writing out the words

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It was Ellery’s turn to go out without Asher, although in his case Alyssa still came along. So it was not quite a one-on-one date.

When I told Ellery about Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo and read the synopsis to him, he was very excited and imagined that he’d see many different types of dinosaurs, afterall the description said we could expect to see an “amazing array of creatures”. He was talking about the show from lunch time, and was bouncing around excitedly before the show.

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It started out promisingly enough with some prehistoric vegetation decorating the stage and the sounds of the forest bringing you into the dinosaur world. The show was delivered in the format of a documentary, with the presenter telling the audience about the different types of dinosaurs that came on stage. They started with a pair of baby Muttaburrasaurus, the dinosaur that at home we joke is the “murtabak-saurus” (murtabak is a type of Indian-Muslim minced meat pancake found in Singapore). I thought it was good how the host gave facts about the dinosaur and invited children up to pat the dinosaurs.

Baby dinosaur (Photo taken from the Dinosaur Zoo Live gallery)

 

I liked seeing the giant dragonfly, Meganeura, because we had read about it in one of the dinosaur stories at home. Ellery was really happy he saw the Meganeura and said he’d tell Asher all about it when he got home. They had several Meganeura flying all about the theatre, and the giant dragonflies landed on the children’s hands and heads, much to everyone’s delight.

Meganeura (Photo taken from the Dinosaur Zoo Live gallery)

 

Next came some Leaellynasaura, which the host consistently mispronounced as “lee-AN-na-saw-ra”. I noted this because when learning about dinosaurs I was particularly fascinated by this species. I thought I might have got the pronunciation wrong but went home to check, and actually even the KidsFest Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo factsheet says it’s “lee-EL-in-a-saw-rah”. It’s a small thing, but if the show aims to give children facts about dinosaurs, I thought the host should have gotten the name right.

A pair of Leaellynasaura (Photo taken from the Dinosaur Zoo Live gallery)

 

From here the show started to get less interesting for me, and from Ellery’s expression, for him too. A fearsome looking dinosaur puppet appeared, and while it looked impressive and served well to add excitement to the show in terms of a scary monster on stage, I felt that the show relied too much on this. The dinosaur, which the host called a T-Rex (more on this later), spent quite a bit of time scaring the audience. Rather than tell the audience interesting facts about the T-Rex, a lot of time was also spent getting children to feed and pat the T-Rex, with lots of false starts and sudden moves to scare the volunteers along the way. Humourous and entertaining, but not very scientific nor educational as the show touted itself to be (“…connecting young audiences to the real science of palaeontology”).

Hugging a 'T-Rex' (Photo courtesy of ABA Productions)

Hugging a ‘T-Rex’ (Photo courtesy of ABA Productions)

A kid did get ‘eaten’ during the show! (Photo taken from the Dinosaur Zoo Live gallery)

 

In fact, that wasn’t a T-Rex at all. The skull structure of the dinosaur was wrong (T-Rex’s heads are much more massive compared to the body), and if you see the photos from the show, the puppet has three claws. Any bona fide dinosaur fan will tell you T-Rexs have only two claws.

Let’s count the claws now, 1, 2, 3… (Photo taken from Dinosaur Zoo Live gallery)

 

The show was supposed to focus on dinosaurs found in Australia, but I guess they were trying to appeal to everyone’s familiarity with the T-Rex. I think it would have been better to stick to Australian dinosaurs so that the show is focused and the audience can learn something new about the less familiar Australian dinosaurs. I suspect that actually the puppet was meant to represent the Australian carnivore, the Australovenator, as this was listed on the KidsFest Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo factsheet. The Australovenator is a medium-sized allosaur, so the puppet would have been more appropriate.

When show ended with the head and neck of the Titanosaur, Ellery was surprised and asked me where the other dinosaurs were. He then said he wished there were more dinosaurs in the show.

Me too.

Indeed, while the show was funny and entertaining, it was not what I had expected based on the show synopsis. Charming, but ultimately disappointing.

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We were given complimentary tickets for the show. All opinions are my own.

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