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Kids’ Theatre Preview: Pangdemonium Presents ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’

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This smash hit prequel to Peter Pan – with a Singapore twist – looks to be a moving and thoroughly entertaining show for kids, parents, and anyone who loves to dream

Later this month, Pangdemonium, Singapore’s award-winning theatre company, will bring to the stage Peter and the Starcatcher. It’s a highly entertaining and endearing prequel to the Peter Pan legend, and a beautiful celebration of the innocence, imagination and resilience of children.

The show has been the delight of Broadway, winning multiple Tony Awards and glorious reviews and accolades across the globe. But this production by Pangdemonium looks set to be even more exciting than any of the rest as, in close collaboration with the original creative team, it has been given a unique and fantastical Singaporean twist!

Word of warning to all you mamas out there: Tickets to most of Pangdemonium’s productions sell like proverbial hotcakes and there is no doubt this is even hotter than most! Treat the whole family and be prepared for all of you to fall in love with this wonderful story, spiced with theatrical magic, childhood wonder and lots of Singaporean style.

Although busy in rehearsals, Adrian Pang, Pangdemonium’s co-Artistic Director as well as the infamous pirate in the piece, kindly took time to chat to me about the show, the parts he plays and why bringing it to life in Singapore has been such a wonderful and exciting adventure!

What was it that drew you to the show initially?

The fact that it is an absolutely hilarious, hair-raising adventure story that is unabashedly fun and silly and outrageous — AND that it also possessed so much heart, soul and life. Pangdemonium has become known to our followers for telling emotionally-charged, provocative and stimulating pieces of theatre; and here was a play that presented us with a huge challenge because it was so different in style and tone from anything we had ever done, and yet was something we felt would be absolutely in line with our motto of “ass-kicking adventures in theatre”. Among all the high-jinks and hilarity, there are genuine moments of poignancy which will resonate with anyone who has ever felt lost and alone. With this show we are having a lot of fun while still doing what we always set out to do!

Tell us a little about taking on the role of Captain Black Stache, as well as other parts you’ll be playing?

I have to admit that Black Stache is lots of fun! It’s probably the most flamboyant role I’ve had the pleasure of taking on, and I get to unashamedly ham it up to the max. Black Stache sports a ridiculous moustache (he started shaving at age ten!), and fancies himself as the most fearsome pirate ever, and his goal – more than infamy or fortune – is to find a hero worthy of his villainy. I’ve also decided that he has extreme ADHD. All of which fuels his flair for the theatrical, and the outrageous things he says. I don’t think I’ve ever played a character who is so over-the-top — unless you consider some of my past dramatic roles on Channel 8!

But we all play multiple roles, from pirates, to navy seamen, to island savages, to sea creatures. There are actually over 100 parts but we are a cast of only 12! I’m not sure I should give too much away about the fun I’ve had playing a hairy mermaid and the like…but do come along and see it!!

I understand that there will be a Singaporean twist to the piece. Can you let us know what audiences can expect?

We had to make a proposal to Disney (who own the rights to Peter and the Starcatcher) and give them our vision of our adaptation, and they loved it. The original sets sail from Portsmouth, UK; while our version kicks off the adventure in Singapore, 1885, and the voyage sees the adventurers journey through the South China Sea and then being caught up in a huge thunderstorm. So our three orphan boys are “Singaporean”, the island they get marooned on is part of Indonesia, and so many of the theatrical elements we are adding to our production have a very distinct South East Asian flavour to it. Watch out for some delightful music set pieces, which I’m sure will bring the house down!

What would you like audiences to take away with them?

Apart from a really fun time in the theatre, at the heart of this outrageous tale of pirates, mermaids, fairies and “starcatchers” is a story about hope. It harkens back to each of our individual childhoods, when the world held so much promise, where there seemed to be such simple choices between good and evil, and there was a whole lifetime of possibilities to look forward to. It is a story that reminds us that we each have within our grasp the will and the ability to find a place in this world where we feel we belong, and in a time where the world is in the grip of fear and uncertainty, it carries for every single person a much-needed message of empowerment and self-belief.

All the details!

What: Peter and the Starcatcher
Where: Drama Centre Theatre, National Library Building, 100 Victoria Street, Singapore 188064
When: 28 September to 20 October 2018
Timings: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 7:30pm; Saturdays and Sundays: 2:30pm and 7:30pm
How much: $20 to $90. Buy your tickets on Sistic!

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