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Posts Tagged ‘Aesop’s Fables’

The Ant and the Grasshopper by iTheatre is back after a sell-out run in 2014. You may be familiar with this tale, which is actually pretty short in its original form, about a hardworking ant who prepared for the winter and a lazy grasshopper who whiled away his time only to regret when winter came.

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iTheatre has put a refreshing spin on the story that at the same time doesn’t stray too far from the original.  They managed to draw out valuable lessons for children (and adults) to learn from. Lessons that are perfect for the start of the school year, as we found out when we caught the show over the weekend.

More than just a re-telling of the tale extolling the virtues of hard work and planning ahead, iTheatre’s version of The Ant and the Grasshopper was an engaging performance that brought home the lesson of how there is a time and place for everything. Most prominent was how there is a time for work, and a time for play.

Actually, at that point I thought they took all the words out of my mouth. It sounded like what I have been repeating to the boys, especially recently. Asher and I looked at each other at the same time, and it was like a moment of enlightenment. “Ooohh! It’s not just Mummy saying these things.” So spot on.  I hadn’t expected them to lay out the lessons so plainly, and it was perfect. Thank you iTheatre!

Ms Fizzbuzz, Ant, and Grasshopper (Photo credit: iTheatre)

They presented a balanced point of view though. I liked how even though Ant was so hardworking and shown to be more than prepared for winter, Ant acknowledged that she could also learn something from Grasshopper. There was value in slowing down and indulging in creative pursuits. I guess being in the arts industry, iTheatre can’t quite diss the pursuit of the arts can they?

The loggerheads

Ant and Grasshopper always at odds with each other (Photo credit: iTheatre)

Then there were the smaller lessons that were peppered throughout. The advice to listen to words of warning, rather than learning the hard way; that you can prepare for eventualities or events even if you haven’t encountered them before; that time passes more quickly than you think. The many parallels to our home life popped into my head immediately.

Nessa the caterpillar, Grasshopper, and Ant (Photo credit: iTheatre)

Nessa the caterpillar, Grasshopper, and Ant (Photo credit: iTheatre)

Most importantly, I think the message on being forgiving and compassionate came through. In the original tale, Grasshopper died lamenting his foolishness at not being better prepared for winter. The scene at the end is bleak. A grasshopper dying of hunger while watching the well-prepared ants sharing food amongst themselves. In this version of the tale, the Bees showed compassion and convinced their friend, Ant, to care for Grasshopper and not just stand by and say “I told you so”. Sure, she was right, but that didn’t mean she shouldn’t also have a heart to care for Grasshopper now that he was clearly in need. It’s a good message for the kids to be kind even to those they may not like, or who aren’t always kind to them in return. If someone is in need, we should step forward and help.

To help or not to help? (Photo credit: iTheatre)

To help or not to help? (Photo credit: iTheatre)

Besides Ant and Grasshopper, there were also two busy(body) Bees, a timid caterpillar, and one very fashion-minded ladybird. The kids loved Nessa, the caterpillar who was afraid of change. She was such an endearing character, and the lesson she learnt in the story was a good one for kids – that change can be good. Nessa was played perfectly by Safia Hanifah, who also took on the role of Ms Fizzbuzz. I loved how she gave Nessa and Ms FizzBuzz such distinct personalities and movements, to the point that a friend of mine didn’t realise the two roles were played by the same person!

Lady Coco, the over-the-top insect version of Lady Gaga, was also a hit. You will be added to her legion of fans once you meet her.

Lady Coco (Photo credit: iTheatre)

iTheatre has come up with a really good production. A wonderful set that showed the changing of the seasons, great costumes (I kept admiring the headpieces), an excellent cast, and a good storyline to boot. Those more critical may find that the morals of the show were put across too blatantly, but I thought that it was good for my kids, at least, because it caught their attention and made them remember it better.

Initially the boys were asking why we were watching the show when they already knew the story, but by the end of the show they were saying how much they enjoyed it!

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Friends stick together in tough times (Photo credit: iTheatre)

The Ant and The Grasshopper is a 50 minutes musical is suitable for both young and old. Get your tickets here!

Ant and The Grasshopper
Date: 18 Feb to 19 March 2017
Venue: SOTA Drama Theatre, 1 Zubir Said Drive, Singapore 227968

 

***SUPER FLASH GIVEAWAY***

iTheatre has generously offered a family packed of 4 tickets each to two readers of this blog!
The tickets are for 25 Feb, Saturday, 11am. Please make sure you are able to attend the show before taking part in this giveaway.

To take part in this giveaway please do the following by 23 Feb (today!) 2359:
1. Like iTheatre’s Facebook page
2. Leave a comment in the blog post telling me the title of your favourite Aesop’s Fable
3. BONUS: If you can tell me Lady Coco’s (the ladybird) full name, you will get an extra 2 entries. She mentions her name in the promotional video below (around 1:38).

Good luck!

Terms & Conditions: 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.

This video is from the 2014 production.


Disclaimer: We were provided one family package of four tickets for the purchase of this review. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are mine. 

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We went to catch Aesop’s Fables by iTheatre with Ellery and Alyssa. I’m so glad we did because it was a thoroughly enjoyable show!

There are 8 stories and it was a good selection of familiar and less familiar tales, all with good morals that children should learn about. It led to some meaningful discussions on why “a bird is more than it’s feathers (in the Jay and the Peacock) and what it means, and why you shouldn’t give up your friends for your enemies (The Sheep and the Wolf).

I thought it was a good idea to use the context of a travelling performance company as it gave scope for the actors to take on many different characters (as would need be the case since they are telling many fables…). I also liked how the actors subtly brought home the message of using your imagination. In the show, the person in charge of the travelling company’s costumes misplaced them, and so for some characters the actors had to use everyday objects as props and costumes. The boys are familiar with this concept. Our dress up box filled with random things is one of the most popular ‘toys’ in the house. With my old white shirt they have become doctors, astronauts, dragons, kings, knights, Daddy, etc. But it’s always interesting to see new ways to create costumes – like with the sheep! It was so funny! Gloves and yarn on the head! :)

Docile sheep

Docile sheep

There was some audience interaction in the middle which Ellery loved. He wanted very much to go up on stage to be the Wind in the story of The North Wind and the Sun but wasn’t chosen. At the end of the show he asked to try being the Wind and the actors were so kind to oblige :) He was soo happy he declared The North Wing and the Sun his favourite story from the show and was blowing and blowing on the ride home.

So happy to be able to press the horn and be the Wind. Unfortunately covering his face here!

So happy to be able to press the horn and be the Wind. Unfortunately the horn is blocking his face here!

The actors put up good performances, transforming themselves into each new character with ease. I was keen to watch Darren Guo’s performance because I thought he did well in Hop & Honk and was interested to see how he’d do this time. His acting did not disappoint, and he continues to be a versatile actor capable of playing with his voice and manner. Actually, I thought all of them (Darren, Alecia Kim Chua, Elizabeth Loh, Erwin Shah Ismail and Ghazali Musakir ) did well individually and together.

The songs are great (till now I still have the Aesop’s Fable song stuck in my head) and I thought the choreography was good too (gotta love those Sheep!).

Donkey has had enough!

Donkey has had enough!

Androcles and the Lion

Androcles and the Lion

I left the theatre thinking, “iTheatre is getting better”. The last couple of performances have been really good, and Aesop’s Fables, with its timeless stories and lovely songs, is a great show to catch with the children.

Aesop’s Fables run until 21 Mar 2015. Grab your tickets and go support local theatre!

Aesops’ Fables is show at the Jubilee Hall at Raffles Hotel. Ticket are available via SISTIC.

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I received three complementary tickets for the show. All opinions are my own.

 

 

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There were some books I remember reading over and over again as a kid, and my two small books containing a selection of Aesop’s Fables were definitely among them. There are about 665 fables in total, dating back 2,600 years. I haven’t read them all, but am well acquainted with the more popular stories.

I think my mum gave away those books, but we now still have two thin copies of Aesop’s Fables in our house. These were Jon’s copies from when he was younger and my late mother-in-law kept them, along with some other books, specially for her future grandkids! She would be very happy to know the books have been read repeatedly by the boys.

If you love Aesop’s stories too, you should check out iTheatre’s performance of Aesop’s Fables from 26 Feb to 21 Mar. They show and tell a selection of Aesop’s most famous stories, along with some lesser known ones, using puppetry, live action and song. The selection will include “The Jay and The Peacock”, “Androcles and The Lion”, “The Lion and The Mouse”, and “The Goose that Laid The Golden Eggs”.

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Their 2009 production of Aesop’s Fables played to sold-out audiences, so be sure not to miss it this time around. We really enjoyed iTheatre’s last show, Hop & Honk, and I hope that they’ll put on a good performance again!

Tickets are available from SISTIC.

*** Giveaway ***

iTheatre has kindly sponsored 2 sets of 2 tickets to Aesop’s Fables on Saturday, 7th March 2015 (2.30pm). If you need more than 2 tickets, iTheatre has offered to sell adjacent seats at a discounted rate to the winners.

To qualify for the giveaway, please do these 2 things by 2 Mar 2359hrs (not a lot of time, so don’t put it off till later!):
1. Leave a comment below on which of Aesop’s Fables is your favourite and why
2. Share this Facebook post with at least one other person.

Don’t forget to leave me your email address so I can contact you if you win!

The winning entries will be selected at random from all qualifying entries. The winners will be announced here in the comments section of this post, and will be contacted via email.  They 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 30 minutes before showtime. 

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