There’s always something going on with the kids’ theatre scene in Singapore. From sibling rivalry to ballet and the ultimate diva, there’s something for everyone this March!
Although March seems to be a little quieter than last month for exciting things happening on Singapore’s stages, we had a good trawl and there’s still lots of fun to be had this month, especially for little ones!
Read on to find out what we reckon is hot for the next few weeks on the dance and theatre scene, and what’s definitely worth making the effort to get out to see.
Gretel and Hansel
13 March – 26 April
I don’t think there are many mamas out there who don’t know the story of Hansel and Gretel as conceived by the Brothers Grimm, but this version has an intriguingly different twist!
A few years ago the Canadian playwright Suzanne Lebeau spoke about how, when she approached the piece, she was more interested in the relationship between the two children rather than the traditional take on it — the differences between rich and poor.
In her play, Gretel is the oldest (hence the switch of names in the title – yep it’s not a typo!) and she is rather miffed when her baby brother, Hansel, comes along. It’s a classic case of sibling rivalry that I expect almost every mama has experienced or witnessed in one way or another. But, by cleverly putting Gretel at the heart and centre of things, the story takes on a new and interesting feminist slant.
All this thinking admittedly may go over the heads of the little ones the show is made for (SRT say 4 years and up, but I expect the upper bracket is probably somewhere around 8), but it’s great for all of us mamas out there wanting to raise our kids ‘right’, in a world of emerging equality, to discover tales like these being reimagined in such contemporary and interesting ways.
Never fear, mamas: despite the slightly different path the story takes, I expect there will be bread crumbs, lots of fun laughs and giggles along the way, and a very happy ending, too!
When: 13 March – 26 April
Timings: Weekends & Public Holidays: 11am, 2pm; Accessible performances 23 March, 7, 14 April, 2pm
Where: KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT, 20 Merbau Road, Singapore 239035
How much: $26-29, Family package available; click here to purchase tickets
Best for: 4 – 8 years
Matilda the Musical
Through 17 March
Ok, so this got a mention last month as well, but it was so punchy and brilliant we thought it was good enough to get another plug this month, as luckily for all of us it’s on for quite a while yet!
If you can’t click over to the full review, in a nutshell, Matilda is an absolute cracker! I love a show that can make you cry and laugh and keep adults as entertained as the kids. It’s what I like to call the ‘Shrek’ factor; there’s jokes that work on multiple levels so definitely one for the whole family to enjoy!
Read more: We meet Matilda: Singapore’s Sofia Poston!
When: Now till Sunday 17 March
Timings: Tue – Fri: 7:30pm; Sat: 2pm & 7:30pm; Sun: 1pm & 6pm
Where: Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956
How much: $68-$198; click here to purchase tickets.
Best for: The whole family
The Dragon’s Dentist
Through 17 March
There are so many great events on at the Esplanade all the time for kids. Many are free, too so it’s always worth checking out what’s on if you’re toying with what to do with your kids, mama. But this one, The Dragon’s Dentist, jumped out at me this month as a goodie!
I love the story of how the show came about. The show’s director realised his son had a real problem with brushing his teeth. It wasn’t just he didn’t want to do them; he was actually rather scared about it! So, as a good dad and artist, he decided to create a show that would help his little boy understand there was nothing to be worried about, as well as explaining that it was all rather necessary, too!
With three teenage boys I still find myself saying, a bit like a broken record, “Have you done your teeth?” And far more regularly than I think I should admit, the answer is no! I’m not sure when children get to the point when not brushing your teeth is too horrible to bear but I can safely say it feels like it’s still apparently a ways off in our family! I wish there’d been a show like this when mine were little; I’m not sure I’d be able to get them to watch it now…although I’m very tempted to try!
But if you do have little ones, I’d definitely try and take them down to see it. There’s a dragon (as the name would suggest), and from the little clips I’ve seen already, lots of silly humour which is sure to appeal to its target 2 to 6 years old age group.
When: Friday 1 to Sunday 17 March
Timings: Various, check out link below for more details
Where: Esplanade Theatre Studio, 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981
How much: $20; click here to purchase tickets.
Best for: 2 – 6 yrs
Impressing the Czar
15 – 16 March
Created by the German choreographer William Forsythe – who’s described by many as a living legend – and performed by two world renowned companies, the Dresden Semperoper Ballett and Paris Opera Ballet, this will undoubtedly be a ballet that will wow!
The Financial Times described it as a rare delight with “contemporary theatrical flair on top of technical prowess”. The costumes are lavish, the sets are elaborate, and the dances rich and wonderful.
The piece is long, though, and if you read the blurb on the Esplanade’s website, it all sounds terribly highbrow! Take heed, mamas: this isn’t for little ones who love wearing a pink tutu and doing little pliés. But if you have older kiddies, ones who sleep and dream about dancing on stage one day, this is likely to be an extraordinary and very memorable experience for them. And don’t worry too much about what the meaning is behind it all, just sit back and enjoy. You’ll be impressed, I’m sure!
When: Friday to Saturday, 15 – 16 March
Where: Esplanade Theatre, 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981
How much: $20- $140; click here to purchase tickets
Best for: 12 and up
SSO: An Intergalactic Adventure
16 – 17 March
The Singapore Symphony Orchestra have an impressive program of concerts throughout the year, and every now and then they produce something that is specifically aimed at capturing the imagination of children. However, even though the marketing blurb for An Intergalactic Adventure says it’s for children aged 4 years and up, having read all about it, it sounds so magical I can’t wait to get along to be part of the fun, too.
The performance is presented by the superbly talented Alasdair Malloy. He trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and has been the Principal Percussionist with the BBC Concert Orchestra for over 20 years. However, his soft Scottish accent and his passion for introducing music to all ages has taken him to magnificent stages across the globe. Fortunately for us, Singapore’s Victoria Concert Hall is one of them.
Mixing ET and Star Wars with Holst and Mozart, the program looks wonderful, with much of it easily recognisable, ‘hummable’, and a perfect introduction to the power of an orchestra and the wonder of listening to it live. It’s classical music, mamas, but not as we know it…and I reckon it will be a total blast!
When: Saturday to Sunday, 16 –17 March
Timings: 2pm, 4pm
Where: Victoria Concert Hall, 9 Empress Place, Singapore 179556
How much: $25, $32; click here to purchase tickets
Best for: 4 and up, all the family
Bette Davis on the Edge
21 – 22 March
I love The Projector cinema; it’s always got a great selection of arthouse movies as well as mainstream goodies, too. Located on Level 5 of the Golden Mile Tower, it’s not exactly easy to find but, when you do, it feels like you are stepping into something so quirky and different, it’s hard not to be swept up in the nostalgic and eclectic mix of it all!
Excitingly this month, Wag The Dog, a relatively new theatre collective made up of a group of independent professional artists, are presenting the one-woman show, Bette Davis on the Edge starring British actress Christine St John, who is currently touring the work internationally.
Although the Projector theatres are now principally cinemas, it still boasts a small stage and the company felt it would be the perfect spot for this wonderful one-woman show centred around the trials and tribulations of Hollywood and laced with nostalgic charm.
Bette Davis was a star who was way ahead of her time and, as Wag The Dog point out, had she been around in 2019 “She would have been right at the front of current activist movements in Hollywood today.”
Back in 1977, she became the first woman to be given the American Film Institute’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. And in 1999, the AFI published a list of the “50 Greatest American Screen Legends” in order to raise public awareness and appreciation of classic film. Of the 25 actresses listed, Davis was ranked at number two, pipped to the post only by Katharine Hepburn.
Bette Davis on the Edge is a piece that has all the makings of a beautiful night out, mamas, packed with drama, intrigue and lots of giggles along the way. I, for one, am looking forward to discovering more about this extraordinarily pioneering and inspirational woman.
When: Thursday to Friday, 21 – 22 March
Where: The Projector (Blue Room) 6001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Tower (NOT COMPLEX!) #05-00 Singapore 199589
How much: $35; click here to purchase tickets
Best for: 16 and up, or a mamas’ night out
Lead image by Singapore Symphony Orchestra