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Posts Tagged ‘Blunderbus Theatre’

I’m looking forward to getting out of confinement and bringing the boys for outings again, so I’ve been on the look out for interesting events to attend with them.

ACE! Festival 2014 is one such event.  Starting from 21st May, it runs for slightly over two weeks to 8th June at the Drama Centre Theatre and Black Box.  This year’s theme is Long Ago and Far Away, and in line with that theme the festival promises enchanting stories, limitless adventures and magic for all ages.  There will be five original festival highlights that will let your imagination soar!

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Puss in Boots and Spot the Difference will be staged by local theatre group I Theatre, while Under the Dragon Moon will be presented by Creative Edge Ensemble, a new division of I Theatre dedicated to identifying and nurturing Singapore’s most promising young talents for the professional theatre.  The two international shows are Starbird by Toto Tales and Dotty the Dragon by Blunderbus Theatre Company, both from the UK.  With a mix of local and international acts, there will be lots of choice for parents wanting to bring their children for some exciting theatre productions.  And for the families who cannot stop at just one production, there is the ACE! Magic Passport which allows you to enjoy greater discounts when you purchase two or more Family Packages for ACE! Festival productions in a single receipt.

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Besides the theatre productions, there are also specially selected workshops led by professional facilitators where children can nurture their creativity, collaboration and confidence.  The workshops include Story Telling (StoryWise, Sheila Wee), Writing My First Story Book (ACT 3 Theatrics, R. Chandran), Parent-Child Bonding (Artistic Expressions), 4 O’clock Club (Artistic Expressions), Ceramic and Clay Workshop (Goodman Ceramic Studio), Fun Craft (JayJayJolly) and Craft through Drama (Toto Tales, Mara Menzies).

There are also some free fringe events scheduled that include storytelling, arts and crafts sessions, informal performances, seminars and talks.  You can read the show synopses, workshop write-ups and details of the non-ticketed programmes at the ACE! Festival website.  Go check it out!

Most of the shows take place at the end of May, so I’ll probably bring the kids to catch something in June when I’m out of confinement!

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I took the boys to watch How to Catch a Star presented by ABA Productions and the Blunderbus Theatre Company.  It’s based on the book by Oliver Jeffers and is about a boy who loved stars so much he wanted one of his very own.  It traces the story of how he tries different ways and means to get hold of one.

We borrowed the book from the library prior to watching the show so that the kids would be familiar with the story.  It’s a simple yet sweet story.  Asher and Ellery’s  favourite part is when the little boy in the story thinks what he sees in the water is a fallen star, when really it is the reflection of a star in the sky.  And they laugh gleefully when he thinks the starfish that washes up onto the shore is really that fallen star.  They connected with that simple story and were really excited about going for the show.  When I went to pick them from school they ran out of class yelling, “How to Catch a Star!!!!”

While the flow of the show followed the storybook, it was embellished with a lot of fillers – common for a stage adaptation of a children’s book, especially a short one.  But they managed to stretch the fillers in such a kid-pleasing way though.  I’ve never seen Asher laugh so hard in a show before.  He was laughing, guffawing, squealing with delight, giggling, and every other form of laughter you can think of.  And perhaps a bit too loudly because the people in front kept looking back (eep!), although they were smiling too and looked amused at how tickled Asher was.  To be honest, much of it was quite slapstick, but that’s what the kids love!  Seriously, the kids just lapped it all up!  For me, it was a wee bit too much slapstick for my adult sensibilities, but there is no doubt at all that the children totally loved every bit of the show.  Asher and Ellery declared that their favourite parts in the show were when the little boy got sprayed with water, and when a lollipop got stuck all over the place (watch it and you’ll know what I mean).

The little boy and his favourite star (Picture taken from Blunderbus website.)

In the show there were also two additional characters, Aurora and Ariel, who were the ‘star keepers’.  They served as narrators, and also helped the little boy in his quest to obtain a star.  I liked that the characters interacted a lot with the audience.  Before the show, they went around chatting with the children, and during the show they sometimes called out the names of the children they’d met.  They also kept turning to the audience for help with a variety of things, whether it was getting rid of horrid hiccups, blowing boats, or waking the little boy from his sleep.  Everyone (adults included) were more than happy to join in.

Catching sight of the star through his giant telescope (Picture taken from Blunderbus website.)

I do wish the last bit, where the boy sees the reflection and thinks it’s a fallen star would have come through a little more subtly, rather than just telling the children that he saw the reflection of the star in the water.  That part all the way to the end was the most poignant part of the storybook, I thought.  So it was a bit of a shame that it got glossed over at the end of the show.  But that’s probably an adult preoccupation. The kids were more than happy with the way it was presented.

Overall, the kids had a blast!  It was definitely a show that thoroughly delighted them.

If you’ve not read the book, you can watch a video of it on YouTube.

There are only 7 shows left and the show ends its run this Sunday, 27th April, so book your tickets soon.  Tickets are available through SISTIC.  You can also check out the poster for the show here.

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On a side note, we had a real surprise today!  We bumped into Asher’s old classmate, M, and his sister L.  And by sheer coincidence, we ended up sitting right next to each other!  What are the chances?  The two boys had a great time playing with one another.  It’s so lovely to see that they remember each other and get along so well even though they have not met for more than 1.5 years!

Old buddies catching up before the show

Old buddies catching up before the show

Asher, Ellery, M and L with two of three cast members from the show

Asher, Ellery, M and L with the cast of the show

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Disclaimer: I was given tickets to review the show.  All opinions are my own.

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