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Review: The Incredible Book Eating Boy

To prep Noah for the show, I’ve been reading The Incredible Book Eating Boy with him again recently, and each time, he would express a fear of the “book monster” in Henry’s nightmare. Really strange, considering how he had no issues with it when we read the book previously! I started to feel a tad apprehensive about how he would react during the show, but from past experience, all he usually needs is to sit on my lap, and be constantly reassured that the “monster” isn’t scary, so I figured he would be okay.

Noah kept himself busy on the drive there, by flipping through the book multiple times, and exclaiming at the illustrations that caught his eye. (I heard a lot of “The monster is going to eat the boy!” throughout the journey, so you can imagine how afraid of the “monster” he was!)

Reading in the car


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“Please don’t eat me!”


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As we entered the drama centre, I was immediately attracted to the beautiful set on stage. There were books carefully arranged in front, and tons of books stacked at the side. Later, as the show progressed, I was really impressed at how clever the props were, and how each item had multiple uses. The books were extremely realistic, and I think Noah liked the cat quite a bit, especially when it erm, did its business.

The set


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Look at all those books!


Photo courtesy of ABA Productions

Looking for the “monster” on the set


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The drama centre was filled with young school children, and I was rather entertained by their reactions during the show, though I suspect their teachers were rather stressed trying to keep them in check. There was quite a bit of excitement when the “book monster” appeared at the beginning, and Noah got so nervous that he climbed into my lap (and stayed there for the entire show). The “book monster” interacted with the young audience, and was quite funny to be honest, so I don’t know why Noah was so afraid.

The three-person cast did an excellent job, and every movement was well choreographed, as they danced around, handing each other the different props flawlessly. I loved how Henry’s bed was transformed into the dining table, then into the street outside, and later, the teacher’s desk. Everything was really so cleverly designed!

The actors encouraged audience participation at certain points during the show, like when the librarian made her appearance, and when the “book monster” first appeared at the beginning. I like such productions, since they’re meant for children, and should have an audience that is engaged and responsive to whatever happens on the stage.

As Henry devoured the books, I could hear many little voices going, “He’s not eating it! He dropped it behind him!” while some dished out sage advice, “Don’t eat the books, Henry!” When Henry started to feel ill from all that book-eating, and spewed little bits of paper all over the stage, this well-meaning advice was repeated by many concerned kids, which really made me laugh, because they were so earnest!

If you eat books…


Photo courtesy of ABA Productions

Your brain gets bigger…


Photo courtesy of ABA Productions

And you become the smartest person on earth!


Photo courtesy of ABA Productions

One of my favourite scenes was the classroom one, where Henry’s classmate, Tom, took the teacher’s words literally, though I don’t think the children really got the joke. Some of the lines are probably targeted at the older audience, but don’t worry, the children will be kept entertained throughout the show. There was quite a bit of laughter in that one hour, although Noah was rather serious for most of it, because he kept worrying that the “monster” would appear again. However, when I asked him afterwards what he thought of the show, he laughed and said, “The monster didn’t eat the book eating boy! The monster laughed!” He then asked me to read the book to him again in the car before we left, so I’m guessing he liked the show!

If you haven’t already booked your tickets, I would advise you to do so quickly, as tickets are selling out fast. Enjoy the show!

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Synopsis Henry loves books. But Henry doesn’t like to read books, he likes to eat them. Big books, picture books, reference books…Henry chews them up and swallows (but red ones are his favourite). And the more he eats, the smarter he gets. Just as he’s on his way to becoming the smartest person in the world, Henry realises he can’t digest all the knowledge he’s eaten. One day he feels sick to his stomach because all the information he ‘ate’ is so jumbled up inside! But, with a little help from his parents, he eventually finds a way to enjoy books the right way.

Check out the promotional video HERE.

THE INCREDIBLE BOOK EATING BOY Friday, 22 May – Sunday, 24 May 2015 Fri, 22 May: 4.30pm Sat, 23 May: 11am & 2pm Sun, 24 May: 11am, 2pm & 4.30pm Show runs for approximately 50 minutes with no interval. Recommended for children aged 3 and above and their families.

Venue: School of the Arts (SOTA) Drama Centre

Ticket Pricing (Excludes Booking Fee): S$58, S$48, S$38

Book tickets online HERE.

*Disclaimer: We were given a pair of tickets to catch The Incredible Book Eating Boy for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received. All photos are ours, unless otherwise stated, and all opinions, as always, are our own.

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