About Me

Avid arts-goer, voracious reader and mum to young bookworm who loves going to the theatre.


Mozart at the National Museum

A fascinating exhibition for kids if you want to know how Wolfgang Amadeus lived and played - and if he brushed his teeth - at the National Museum this May. For kids 6-10...Also storybook making for kids 3-8. There's workshops for mums & toddlers as well as an interactive playground to engage the senses. 

The last time we were there there was this installation by Twardzik Ching Chor Leng with bendable thingsmajigs and magnets on a wall that we had great fun with. He's doing a new one for the Children Season called Imprint with movable pins and rods.

The Children's Season runs 1 May - 6 July. Tix for specific events from Sistic.


Moonbird: May 19 - June 7, Alliance Francaise

More shows for the holidays. Moonbird by I-Theatre whose The Little Red Hen we enjoyed is back with a show for slightly older children (4+). Early bird specials on tix till April 19.

From the synopsis:
"An enchanting tale of a young Prince and his encounter with the magical Moonbird in a mystical MoonGarden. Blending Asian aesthetics of mask and movement with western theatre styles, and combining the spoken word with sign and song - this production adapted from Joyce Dunbar’s beautifully written story about deafness will captivate you from the start."

Interestingly, the writer Joyce Dunbar who wrote the Mouse & Mole series - and is "profoundly deaf" according to the I-Theatre website - is one of the speakers at the Asian Children's Writers & Illustrators Conference that takes place 5 - 7 June.


Ferdinand the Bull: May 12 - 25, Ulu Pandan Theatrette

When it rains it pours! So May is starting to look pretty full. Is this going to be another case of 4 shows in 4 weeks????

Ferdinand the Bull is based on Munro Leaf's much loved book The Story of Ferdinand. I haven't read the book but I guess we're looking for this on our next trip to the library. Doesn't say but I checked - it's for all ages. 

From the synopsis on The Players Theatre website:

"Ferdinand the Bull is a hilarious, Flamenco-flavored family musical based on the beloved book by Munro Leaf. This classic tale of individuality set in Spain is about a bull named Ferdinand and the young Duke Danilo. Ferdinand doesn’t want to fight and butt heads like all the other bulls - he wants to take care of his beautiful flowers! Meanwhile, the young Danilo wants to dance but his father, the belligerent Duke Dodo, wants him to be a great, macho Spanish bullfighter. When the Duke goes to find the toughest ‘toro’ (bull) for his son’s first bullfight, he mistakenly picks gentle Ferdinand. Will Ferdinand and Danilo decide to follow their own hearts or live out the expectations of others?

This musical is an exuberant romp about being true to yourself and refusing to be ‘bull-ied’ into acting like someone you're not. Kids and adults will love the clever wordplay, Spanish flair, lively music and comical characters including the punny, funny pig Cochina who serves as Ferdinand’s hammy sidekick. Ole!"


Getting on Facebook

Act3 has its own facebook page! Children's theatre is finally taking its community to the Internet. Even the Arts Festival's Kidfest has its own facebook page.


Stories to Grow:May 14 - 25, Act3 Theatrette@Cairnhill

Another show with puppets. Love them, if done well I think they're one of the best ways of reaching to children without drowning them in words. They say the show is for 4 years onwards but perhaps, perhaps, perhaps, if it is non-verbal I should take LO to it...there's a discount if I book tomorrow (4th April).

"Be mesmerised by Omar’s masterful manipulation of more than 20 amazing hand and rod puppets as he ‘tells’ a series of non-verbal stories about love, justice, unity and the world around them." The URL has a pretty good video preview, the puppets look very Sesame Street/Fraggle Rock.


Ant & Butterfly at the Esplanade - 26 & 27 Apr

So Playtime at the Esplanade is back with another show in case you are interested. It's at the recital studio with its chairs removed so the audience is seated on the floor. Hopefully it's better than the first attempt but I'm not going to be here for this one, do comment back here if you see it.


4 shows in 4 weeks

The first one LO went to with DH. Thought we’d alternate since I’d gone for SRT’s Baby Love last year, which she absolutely loved, sat through without a whinge (she was about 20 months old then) and talked about for months after.

Anyway, they left the theatre in 10 minutes after the show started and she doesn’t want to go back to the Esplanade. Talk about catching them young and shaping young minds.

Apparently there’s a scary man in the show and talk of hunting and killing rabbits and it really didn’t go down too well with the LO.

DH was very upset that his first theatre experience with LO was a disaster and so negative.

Thank god the wounds healed with the second show- a reworking by Canada’s Mermaid Theatre. Guess How Much I Love You by Anita Jeram is one of LO’s fave book though I don’t think much of it. But even I was wowed by the show especially the My Little Storybook segment.

What a treat! Gorgeous puppets, fantastic sets (mushrooms made of silk!) and music, unicorns with curly silk hair…Not a thing to fault about the whole thing except that perhaps Victoria Theatre is a cavernous place and sitting far away in the stalls wasn’t ideal. Just a minor quibble, as I do know that flying these guys in is not cheap so you need bigger halls. Still, just having got a chance to watch this show was a privilege and something both LO and I will treasure for a long time to come. This is what children’s theatre should be. Read interview with Act3 artistic director Ruby Lim-Yang

Then it was back to a musical with The Little Red Hen, which was in the smaller Alliance Francaise auditorium. A few adult touches that were totally unnecessary – the 'cool' cat has two women in feather boas dancing on either side when he does his song - and some frenetic action that I think left LO a bit bewildered, but she loved and still talks about Charlie the mouse. And she remembered that the Little Red Hen wore a red hat and red shoes. Such a girl. She even hums a few bars of the title song and the Charming Charlie song so, all in all, I think it was worth it.

Then we come to The Emperor’s New Clothes, the most hyped production of the lot. LO sat very still through the entire loud, overproduced, overacted hour of the three main characters who seemed to be on speed. All she said a few hours later: ‘the king was very silly.’ Pity, 'cause I love the story. This show runs till April 19.


The reason I blog

About the reason for this blog: in the space of about a month, LO ended up going to the theatre four times. As to what effect that had on her, I’ll explain in the next entry.

Let me first list out the shows: Tick, Tack, Tock part of the Esplanade’s new Playtime series, then Guess How Much I Love You/My Little Storybook in the Prudential Children’s Festival, The Little Red Hen by I-Theatre and SRT The Little Company's The Emperor’s New Clothes.

It was a mixed bag. Some she loved, some she hated. Looking at all the emails in my inbox this last month, I've realised that there is a surfeit of children’s theatre coming up and there’s rarely reviews - or for that matter, previews - of these shows. They run on word of mouth, mostly. And the odd Sistic Buzz newsletter. Hence this blog. Hopefully some of what I write is useful to parents out there who have to part with hard-earned cash to buy tix. Even if the money is small change to you, it's still yours and your kids time and you could make a decision on whether that time could perhaps be spent better on the playground or in the library.


German illustrators exhibition at the library

So LO (Little One, for those of you not used to the lingo on kids websites) and I went to see the Contemporary Illustrators in Germany exhibition at the Central Lending Library, a building that I've been to only really to see shows at the Drama Centre on the 2nd floor. After a lot of looking at the NLB website and not finding nearly enough info, found details at the Goethe-Institut website. And off we went.

They have a 24 hour bookdrop - and you can see the book dropping on video. Cool!. Also, I'd never really thought of the plaza downstairs as a place for children but it's great. They have a Han's for nibbles and drinks, and a platform that is perfect for kids to run up and down and around on.

I expected to see just one or two samples from each of the thirteen illustrators but there were four or five panel excerpts from books. Of course the most famous among them - which was the draw for us - was Axel Scheffler (of The Gruffalo fame). They had a few images from his Spiffiest Giant in Town book. Unfortunately that's LO's least fave Julia Donaldson/Scheffler book so she wasn't impressed. Many of the others were a bit dark and dreary, but we loved the images from Nina Budde.

The only problem was that the NLB wasn't expecting kids. The illustrations were placed at adult height so I had to carry LO to see the pics - and she's not light - minders shushed noisy kids, and it all stood in the middle of the reading area in B1, so we got a fair number of dirty looks from people trying to read.

I guess they want kids to go to kids shows and adults to adult ones. Such a shame. The exhibition moves on to Jurong Regional Library and runs 2 April - 27 April. More info here.
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