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Posts Tagged ‘DBS Arts Centre’

Ahoy there! Somethin’ excitin’ is comin’ o’er yer way come the end of October! Better be on the lookout for it, me hearties!

Singapore Repertory Theatre’s (SRT) The Little Company (TLC) will be staging the exciting and swashbuckling story of Treasure Island from 30 Oct 2015 at the DBS Arts Centre.

A new adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s popular novel of the same name, Treasure Island follows the adventure of Jim Hawkins, who receives a treasure map from a kooky old seaman. Jim is tasked to help find the hidden treasure, but the road to riches is never smooth sailing. In this version of the Treasure Island, Jim Hawkins is cast as a lion-hearted 13-year-old girl rather than a boy, possibly to appeal to the girls, though I think the story itself should be compelling enough.

Look out for other colourful characters like Captain Smollett, Squire Trelawney, and of course, Long John Silver!

Treasure Island promises to be a hilarious and action-packed musical about friendship and trust, and is suitable for the whole family! It’s a great way to welcome the year-end holidays, and reward the kids for working so hard throughout the school year.

My boys have read Treasure Island the book and really enjoy the story. So much so that when Ellery saw a children’s illustrated version of the book at the Book Swop at the recent Octoburst Festival, he exchanged a book for it even though we already have the longer version at home.

We sure are looking forward to joining those buccaneers on an adventure to find gold! Argghh!!

Treasure Island is being staged from 30 Oct – 13 Dec, 2015 at the DBS Arts Centre.
Tickets are available through the SISTIC website or via their hotline (6348 5555).

***Giveaway***

SRT has generously sponsored 1 Family Package (4 tickets) worth $153 for Treasure Island on 7 November, 11am, to be given away to one lucky reader! Please make sure you are available to watch the show at the stated date and time before joining this giveaway. To qualify for the giveaway, please do the following by 28 Oct, 2359H:

  1. Answer the question below by leaving a comment at the end of this post. Please include your email address so I can contact you if you win.
    “In The Little Company’s stage adaptation of Treasure Island, Jim Hawkins is a girl. True or False?”
  2. Share this post with three friends, and let me know your FB name so that I can verify your entry.

Good luck me hearties! May ya get yer hands on that ticket treasure!

UPDATE (22 Oct 2015)
Instead of just 1 Family Package (4 tickets), SRT will be sponsoring 2 Family Packages to 2 readers! What are you waiting for? Take part in the giveaway now!

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. To be fair to our sponsors, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (e.g. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or very few real friends) will also be ineligible to win. Tickets will be available for collection on the day itself at the performance venue. 

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Ellery skipped school (shh!), and together with Asher and Alyssa we trotted off to catch 金发姑娘和三只熊, otherwise known as Goldilocks and the Three Bears in Mandarin by The Little Company. This Mandarin version is adapted by well-known radio and TV personality, Danny Yeo, and Zhang Lesheng, an award-winning lyricist who has written theme and sub-theme songs for over 90 MediaCorp TV drama serials.

CHIgoldilocks_A3_301014

We had watched the English version a while back, but the kids didn’t seem to remember much about it as they were quite a bit younger then. I was curious to see how this show would play out in Mandarin, and whether the songs and story would work as well when translated from English.

To my surprise I enjoyed it more than the English version! Interestingly, different songs stood out. In the English version, our favourite song was the ‘porridge song’. In Mandarin, we liked the ‘itchy song’ the most, followed by the ‘bear song’ and the ‘beware song’. These songs took on more life when sung in Mandarin, somehow. The songs were much more memorable in Mandarin and I occasionally still have the songs running through my head.

Papa, Mama, and Baby bears

Papa, Mama, and Baby bears (Photo taken from SRT’s Facebook page)

Bears enjoying their porridge (Photo taken from SRT's Facebook page)

Bears enjoying their porridge (Photo taken from SRT’s Facebook page)

I loved the Mandarin puns and thought it was a wonderful opportunity to show the children how Mandarin can enrich a show and make things more interesting. When Goldilocks first saw the bears she was freaking out and kept saying “x-x-x-x-xiong”. Papa Bear then clarified that they were “熊” (xióng – bears) not “凶” (xiōng – fierce). They played on this pun a few times so that the kids could catch it – “熊爸爸” (bear papa) and not “凶爸爸” (fierce papa). It was also funny when Mama Bear wanted to calm Goldilocks down and told Papa Bear, “把小熊给她!” He then tried to pick up Baby Bear to give to Goldilocks! She actually meant the teddy bear, which can also be called 小熊! I pointed out to the boys that these jokes would not have been possible in English. Teddy Bear and Baby Bear wouldn’t have been interchangeable, neither would there have been a fierce daddy/bear daddy pun. They were quite tickled by this and went to ask Jon if he was a 凶 or 熊 daddy at night.

Goldilocks

Goldilocks (Photo taken from SRT’s Facebook page)

There was very good chemistry among the actors, and they really brought the show together. The best part was the entire segment where the bears suspected someone had intruded into their house and found Goldilocks asleep. It was hilarious, not just because of the puns, but because Mama and Papa bear looked so terribly annoyed. You feel like they are convinced that the intruder, by eating their porridge, sitting in their chairs, and lying in the beds, has committed an absolutely unforgivable act and must be severely punished!

Discovering Goldilocks asleep in Baby Bear's bed! (Photo taken from SRT's Facebook page)

Discovering Goldilocks asleep in Baby Bear’s bed! (Photo taken from SRT’s Facebook page)

The only bit that didn’t quite work with the audience was when Goldilocks was singing about girls being capable and independent. I remember this didn’t quite work in the English version either. It’s a good message but I think the language is a bit too sophisticated for many of the young kids attending the show. That was just a very small part of the show though. Overall, it’s a very good production.

Asher, who was at first a bit reluctant to watch a show in Mandarin, declared afterwards that he really liked the show! I think that’s good endorsement :)

Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Mandarin) runs until 29 Mar 2015 at the DBS Arts Centre. You can get your tickets from the SISTIC website or call the ticketing hotline (63485555).

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We received complementary tickets for this show. All opinions are my own.

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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.

CHIgoldilocks_A3_301014

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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Christmas started early for us this year. We attended the opening show for Junior Claus and were treated to a charming story about the young Junior Claus who is Santa’s son. He tries to save Christmas from being ruined forever by Grumpo the greedy elf who took control of Santa’s workshop after Santa fell into a deep sleep due to the Belief-o-Meter falling to dangerously low levels.

Junior Claus_MAIN VISUAL

It felt good listening to the Christmas songs piped into the theatre before the show started, and I thought it was especially important for our particular show since it was (and still is) a long way from Christmas. Perhaps that was why the Christmas buzz wasn’t quite filling the theatre as much as it could have. But I really believe it’ll get more and more ‘buzz-y’ as Christmas draws nearer. Kudos to the cast for giving their best to invoke the Spirit of Christmas at the start of November!

Dwayne Tan (who reminded me of the earnest Woody from Toy Story), put in a good effort at portraying Junior’s eagerness to make improvements to Santa’s workshop and his lack of belief in the Christmas magic. Junior tried to find practical and logical ways to do things instead of believing in the Christmas magic. It did feel abrupt when he suddenly did believe, but I suppose that has to do with the flow of the story. It was at the end when Junior spoke about what Christmas was really all about that I felt his conviction. That part was quite moving and I felt something stir inside me. I hope the kids felt it too.

Chipper the elf (Seong Hui Xuan) and Junior (Dwayne Tan) flying off to Singapore with Dasher (Benjamin Chow)

Chipper the elf (Seong Hui Xuan) and Junior (Dwayne Tan) flying off to Singapore with Dasher (Benjamin Chow)

I loved Timothy Wan as Grumpo! He made Grumpo evil but endearing, and one of my favourite characters from the show. Grumpo’s plan to corner the toy market and force parents to pay ultra exhorbitant prices for gifts was just wicked and wonderfully innovative, and hopefully that never happens, ha!

But my favourite character has to be Pengy the penguin. Cheryl Tan again put in a fantastic performance. I remembered her from Rapunzel and she further impressed this time around by playing two characters with panache. The boys and I loved the talkative and ever-positive Pengy. Like really loved him. Like really really loved him (watch and you’ll know what I mean). The minute Pengy appeared, the entire show was lifted as Cheryl filled the stage with her presence. It was wonderful how she spoke and sang with different accents for the characters and threw herself into making them believable.

Junior (Dwayne Tan) and Pengy (Cheryl Tan)

Junior and Pengy (Cheryl Tan)

One thing that would make the show even better, I thought, was if the music could be turned down a little, or the volume of the feed from the cast could be increased. It sometimes felt like the music was drowning out the voices of the cast members, particularly those who had voices that weren’t so strong. As a result, I thought it was sometimes difficult for the kids to catch the words of the songs.

The cast of Junior Claus

The cast of Junior Claus

Overall, this is a fun-filled show to bring your kids to this holiday season, and will be a real treat as Christmas gets closer! Although the recommended age is 5 years and above, Ellery, who turns 4 on Christmas day, was able to follow the story and still remembers what was said in the show. I was so surprised to hear him say, two weeks on, that “you don’t have to understand, you just need to believe”. What an appropriate takeaway for Christmas.

Junior Claus is showing at the DBS Arts Centre until 14 Dec 2014. Tickets are available via the SISTIC website and hotline (63485555).

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

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Three cheers for The Little Company!

What an amazing production!

From the minute the curtains were opened, the kids and I were enthralled by The Nightingale. I found myself ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the gorgeous set. Once again The Little Company has created a beautiful world for the audience to enter, and for me it was one of the best sets for a children’s production I’ve seen in a while. Nowadays many theatre companies make do with one key prop and use it in multiple ways, leaving scene changes mostly up to your imagination. It can be very clever, depending on how it’s done, but today’s production reminded me that sometimes, there’s nothing quite like having a real change of scenery on stage. Besides the Emperor’s palace, curtains of green foliage transport you to the forest beyond the palace walls where the Nightingale and other animals live. I also liked the use of shadow play, with shadows cast upon hanging laundry, as the Lord Protector went around enquiring about the Nightingale.

Three cheers for the Emperor of China! (Photo taken from SRT’s Facebook page)

The story is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘The Emperor and the Nightingale’. The Emperor of China is so enchanted by the lilting birdsong of the plain looking nightingale that he captures her and keeps her in a gilded cage for his daily entertainment. But soon, the nightingale loses her beautiful voice and he chases her away. She is replaced with a mechanical bird that the Emperor thought would be infallible, but even that bird loses it’s voice. He is so distraught without the companionship and song of the nightingale that his health quickly deteriorates until she comes back to sing for him.

I liked how the plight of the nightingale somewhat paralleled the life of the kitchenmaid. The plain-looking nightingale possessed the most beautiful voice imaginable, more beautiful than birds with more attractive plummage. In a somewhat similar vein, the kitchenmaid who was the “lowest of the low” knew more about life than the Lord Protector who was the “highest of the high”. It doesn’t mean that the lowly, unattractive creatures have nothing to offer. I thought that was a good lesson to point out to the kids.

The story unfolded at just the right pace for the children to follow and was made more interesting with the use of rhymes. The entire script was written as a rhyming poem! I was happy to find that there didn’t seem to be any stilted parts resulting from forcing out a rhyme. I thought it made for seamless flow into the many songs.

Yes, the songs. Actually this production reminded me of Frozen (in a good way) because the characters weave in and out of songs just like that.

And wow, the songs. They were so good! Slick, polished, creative. I wasn’t surprised at all to find out that Ruth Ling had composed them. Having seen a few productions which featured her work, there’s this extra touch of magic. I was especially surprised by the mechanical bird song that was done in a very modern electronic/hiphop way (you know, where the voices sound all, er…electronic…you know, you know? Pardon my lack of proper musical terminology :) ). I loved how fresh it was. And it wasn’t out of place either because it fit in perfectly with the portrayal of the electronic/mechanical bird.

Nightingale, Emperor & the kitchen maid (Photo taken from SRT’s Facebook page)

The musical is sprinkled with humour (Ellery found it very funny how the Lord Protector didn’t know his animals sounds), but it’s also quite moving. You feel sad for the bird when she loses her song, and happy for the Emperor when he discovers the joy of freedom and true friendship. And the Nightingale’s song itself is very moving. When I asked Asher what he liked he mentioned the Nightingale’s song and said it had made him almost want to cry!

The Nightingale is a top notch children’s performance that’s a visual treat with a great cast and great songs. Definitely a must watch!

It’s on until 14 Sep 2014 at the DBS Arts Centre. It is also showing in Mandarin from 18 Sep to 11 Oct. Tickets are available at SISTIC.

 

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

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