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I’ve always thought Rapunzel a strange yet appealing story.  Why can’t the witch just fly up into the tower herself since apparently witches fly on broomsticks?  How did the witch first put Rapunzel in the tower?  Isn’t it, like, crazily painful for someone to use your hair as rope?  I guess fairy tales are like that – creative license to have some loopholes. But we like the stories anyway!

After re-introducing the story of Rapunzel to the boys, I brought them to catch the performance of Rapunzel by The Little Company at the DBS Arts Centre.  Their previous shows like the Three Little Pigs were very engaging, with hooks to draw the children in.  I was looking forward to a similarly good production, and happily, I was not disappointed.

When we first walked in we were surprised not to see a tall tower, but rather a humongous cactus!  That signaled to us that this was not going to be just the usual retelling of the story.  Clearly it was going to be set in the desert, and we were pleasantly surprised at the cactus tower because even the promotional pamphlets showed a regular tower.  The set was very attractive, and the boys straightaway started pointing out things that caught their eye, like how plates were used to decorate the tree.  For kids shows, I really appreciate when the set is decorated well as that’s the first step to drawing the children into the story.

Giant cactus tower

Giant cactus tower

This Rapunzel was cast as an avid reader trying to take matters into her own hands.  Rather than wait helplessly in the cactus tower, she was determined to find a way out of her sorry situation (which includes a diabolical witch taking pleasure in making her cry so that her tears can be used as a secret ingredient in the witch’s recipes!).  Rapunzel finds a magic spell that can break the enchantment of the tower and give her her freedom.  However, she needs to get hold of three ingredients for the spell to work.  I like how the children were involved in helping to remember what the three ingredients were by following the actions to a song Rapunzel made up.  My boys are usually more than happy to participate in such things.

Looking out into the world

Looking out into the world
(photo courtesy of SRT)

With the help of her friends Harriet the roadrunner, Hugo the armadillo, Chester the camel, and her first ever human friend, Montague the Prince, she manages eventually to get the ingredients she needs and gain her freedom.  There was a nice little revelation at the end of the show too, which was an extension of the original tale.

Harriet, Hugo and Montague

Harriet, Hugo and Montague
(photo courtesy of SRT)

There were a couple of cute songs, with my favourite being one about how when you meet someone for the first time it’s better to not be wearing pajamas!  It was so random, and so funny!  It was particularly amusing when later that night my parents brought Asher out for a car ride with his cousin and he was in his pajamas.  Ellery said he hoped Asher wasn’t meeting anyone new  :)

Anyway, Cheryl Tan who played Rapunzel has such a beautiful, crystalline voice.  It was so sweet you can believe Montague’s desire to meet Rapunzel after he heard her singing. I also thought there was a nice chemistry between her and Trev Neo who played Montague. He gave the prince a nice, light touch.

Cheryl Tan and Trev Neo in TLC's Rapunzel (2014)

Rapunzel & her prince
(photo courtesy of SRT)

Overall, I liked the twist in the story and appreciated the fact that it didn’t stray too far from the original.  I don’t like classic stories being mangled!  It was also great that the children were engaged throughout, and could remember parts of it after.

Rapunzel runs until 27th April, everyday except Mondays.  You can get your tickets through the SISTIC website or through their hotline (63485555).

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

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