The school holidays have just begun, and we celebrated surviving Noah’s first year of school by watching I Theatre’s The Enormous Turnip. Many parents probably had the same idea, as the theatre was packed, and judging from the enthusiastic little voices responding to the actors during the show, I think it’s pretty safe to say that the children in the audience really enjoyed themselves.
Before we left the house, Noah started worrying that the show would be scary, so I found some Powerpoint slides of the story, and read it to him again. (I read two different versions of the story that I borrowed from the library previously, but he had clearly forgotten it.) I was a little concerned that Noah wouldn’t remember the story by the time we got to the theatre, and was pleasantly surprised that I Theatre had thoughtfully prepared a Programme and Activities Book for the show, which included the story and some activities based on the story, together with the usual information about the cast and crew. I was able to re-read the story to Noah while waiting in the theatre, and I saw many other parents doing the same with their kids, while the older children were busy working on the activities.
Excited to be watching The Enormous Turnip
With the Programme and Activities Book
The show opened with a puppet cat welcoming us all to his Mr Diggory’s garden, and Noah was immediately captivated by it. I think that this was the first time he had seen a production with puppets playing a significant role, and he was really amused by them.
Mr & Mrs Diggory with the Cat
Noah smiled happily when Eek the Mouse made her appearance, and I think she was really well-liked by the children in the audience, as she engaged them during some of her scenes. The kids enthusiastically told her “NOOOO!” when she asked if she could eat the seeds, then pointed and yelled, “THERE! BEHIND YOU! THE OTHER SIDE!” when the caterpillar (not to be confused with the very hungry caterpillar) made its appearance.
Eek the Mouse
There weren’t any fancy dance moves in this production, but the entire cast has beautiful singing voices, and my personal favourite was Mrs Diggory, as her diction was impeccable. Yes, these things matter to me, especially for children’s productions, because I think it helps young children to better understand and appreciate what’s going on. Don’t get me wrong, the plot is simple and easy to understand. There was also plenty of audience participation going on throughout the show, which clearly showed that the children were engaged. The older ones who were familiar with various other fairytales could easily identify the references made by the Random Magician, and shouted the titles out quickly.
Speaking of audience participation, here’s a tip: if you haven’t already gotten your tickets, try to get seats in the first three to four rows, as your child will have a better chance of being picked to help pull the enormous turnip out. I thought it was a clever and subtle way to show the kids how important teamwork is, and that every single one can and should play a part. After all, despite all the heaving and tugging by the cast and children, Eek the Mouse’s help made the difference, even though she was the smallest-sized one. Special credit must be given to Mrs Diggory for improvising and singing a bit of “Let it Go” when one of the kids refused to let go of the rope initially. That really cracked me up!
Can Eek help?
Heave, Pull, Tug, Yank!
After the show, while we were queuing for a photo with the cast, I asked Noah which were his favourite characters, and he declared that he liked “the man (Mr Diggory), the cat, and the mouse” best because they were “so funny”. Oh yes, as with all other I Theatre productions that we’ve watched, there’s a meet-and-greet with the cast after the show, so come out of the theatre quickly, and join the queue to get a photo with Mr Diggory and all the other cast members, including the puppets!
With the cast
Although Noah didn’t actively participate during the show, he definitely enjoyed it, because he told us that “it’s a nice show”, and has been talking about the show quite a bit. He makes references to what he saw, especially Eek the Mouse’s antics, and is still a tad bothered that she ate the seeds despite being told not to. Haha.
If you’re looking for a fun production to catch with your kids now that the school holidays have begun, do get your tickets to I Theatre’s The Enormous Turnip quickly, before they’re all sold out!
Take a bow, folks!
The Enormous Turnip makes a comeback this November, an improved and reinvented version of I Theatre’s sold-out production from 2013. I Theatre’s unique brand of professional actors, unforgettable songs, mask, puppetry and theatre magic again brings you the story of a tiny mouse – and an enormous turnip. Little Eek the Mouse’s dream is to be noticed. But Eek is SO small. Diggory the Gardener’s dream is to win a prize – any prize for his vegetables. And then – in his garden, a turnip grows – and grows – and grows! Where does it come from? And who is strong enough to pull this Enormous Turnip out of the ground? A fast paced, colourful, interactive play, carefully designed for the younger audience, with cute characters, fun and memorable songs, and a clear moral message for everyone.
Duration: 55 minutes plus meet and greet Most suitable for 3 to 12 years old and families Written and Directed by Brian Seward Music composed and arranged by Julian Wong Tickets available from Sistic HERE
*Disclaimer: We received tickets to watch The Enormous Turnip for the purpose of this review. All photos of the set are courtesy of I Theatre, since photography isn’t allowed during the show. All other photos and opinions are, as always, our own.
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