Before we had Noah, C and I used to enjoy going for musicals and plays. In fact, our last date night before Noah’s birth was to catch Annie the musical, as we figured we wouldn’t be able to go to the theatre for a really long time after that.
Thus, I was thrilled to learn that I Theatre’s Round the Moon, Blue the Sky, is an interactive play for children aged 2 to 8 years old, as it meant that I could introduce Noah to the world of theatre, without worrying about having to keep him quiet or still throughout the performance.
Excited about catching his first ever play
There were many small stools available at the end of each aisle, so that the younger ones can get a better view of the stage. I got one for Noah, but he only sat on it for less than a minute, before deciding that he wanted to sit on my lap instead.
The only time he was seated on his own seat
The setting was simple but effective. Noah stared at it for a while, before pointing out the moon to me. I thought it was clever that they hid the whirly sticks in the “grass”, and loved the use of the huge leaves too.
The stage set-up
The audience was made up of mainly kindergarten and lower primary school students, who participated enthusiastically throughout the interactive parts of the play. They laughed appreciatively when Twiglet and Leaf were being blown around by the wind, and helped them to find Smallest Dragon when she was hiding behind them. Almost all of them raised their hands excitedly when volunteers were needed for the audience participation segment, and the chosen pair looked really pleased to be on stage.
Noah was a little afraid when Smallest Dragon first appeared on stage, and asked to ‘go out’ twice. Thankfully, I was able to convince him that she was a baby dragon, and that she was only playing on the stage. He danced along to the music at times, and I got him to mimic the actions of the Smallest Dragon as she demonstrated how to find the answers to the many questions asked by Leaf and Twiglet. Some parts of the play were beyond him, and I had to explain and interpret certain parts to him. I also don’t think he was really able to appreciate the dancing, but he laughed occasionally, and his eyes remained riveted to the stage for most of the 45 minutes.
The cast used simple shapes to form familiar items such as a fish, and this bit seemed to have left the deepest impression on Noah, as he has been telling me repeatedly, “Shapes! Drop. Uh-oh. Circle! Round.” I don’t think he really understood how the shapes can be used to form different things, but I plan to reinforce this during our home-learning sessions.
The glow-in-the-dark part at the end of the play was very interesting, although the music during the first segment was a tad too loud, and Noah seemed a little frightened by it. Thankfully, he was too fascinated by the props to be upset for long, and the volume of the music was also lowered in the second segment. I think it also helped that he was seated on my lap throughout the play, as I was able to hug him when he started showing signs of being afraid.
As a parent, I liked how Smallest Dragon used real-life examples to teach Twiglet to be less rigid, and I especially liked how she constantly encouraged Leaf and Twiglet to “Look, see, explore, discover!” Children today love to ask questions, and expect to be given answers, but Smallest Dragon gently shows how they can find the answers themselves, which, to me, is an important life-skill. I was so surprised that Noah was able to do the actions later in the evening! He put his own spin on the last two, but the idea is there.
Look, see, explore, discover!
All in all, I think it was quite a fun first theatre experience for Noah, and I hope to bring him for more such performances.
With Leaf, Smallest Dragon, and Twiglet, after the performance
A fast-paced, lively and physical production about Smallest Dragon. Smallest Dragon is always asking questions, poking her nose into things and curious about the world.
What are her favourite words? They are – WHY and HOW and WHAT!
One night she sees the moon, and wonders why it is the shape that it is. Fascinated, she sets off to find other round things – and quickly realises that there are many other important shapes too. As she explores, she also discovers the wonder of colours!
Combining a unique blend of physical theatre, riveting puppetry, black light magic and lots of audience interaction, this highly engaging and educational performance is specially tailored for children from 2 to 8 years old; although older children and grownups will find much to amuse, enthral and engage too.
What makes this production unique?
Problem solving and active learning is explored through interactive theatre and storytelling
Creative thinking and application of knowledge
Identification and exploration of shape and colour in a unique environment
Exploration of diverse elements of physical theatre, black light magic, songs and puppetry
This is I Theatre’s first project in partnership with the Asian Alliance of Theatre Festivals for Young Audiences (ATYA).
(Information from I Theatre’s website)
Round the Moon, Blue the Sky Mon, 21 – Sun, 27 Jul 2014 Mon – Wed: 10am & 2pm Thu – Fri: 10am, 2pm & 4pm Sat & Sun: 10.30am & 2pm Alliance Francaise Theatre* Ticket price: $30 (before booking fee)
*The theatre is a short walk away from Newton MRT station. Use Exit A, walk along the construction area, and head towards the bus stop along Dunearn Road. Keep walking past the bus stop, until you see Sarkies Road. The colourful Alliance Francaise Theatre is on the left.
We received two complimentary tickets for the show. All pictures are my own, unless otherwise stated. All opinions are Noah’s and mine.
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