Our love for children's theatre {Review of I Theatre's Poultry Tales}

Posted by ~Summer~ on May 05, 2017

We love children's theatre.

We love it because it allows my kids to stretch their imagination, teaches them to better appreciate the arts, makes them inspired, helps to reinforce positive values, and lets them be entertained and educated at the same time.

Over the years, we've been a avid supporter of I Theatre, one of the region's premiere children's and family orientated theatre companies that creates an average of four brand new theatre productions a year. The kids loved going for all of the shows, yes I do mean all, and enjoyed them immensely. I much appreciated the chance for my family to bond over watching quality theatre productions which are engaging and thought provoking. I can't even pinpoint my favourite because there are so many of them but I would say that we really liked The Enormous Turnip, Ant and the Grasshopper and Hop and Honk.

You can probably understand my dismay when I recently heard that I Theatre has lost its yearly funding support and with increasing production costs (Did you know? Producing a single original production may cost as much as $400,000), there is a likelihood that it will be unable to continue with its repertoire very soon. What a bummer this will be for my kids and all the kids in Singapore who appreciate and love theatre, right?

So, while I write this post to review I Theatre's ongoing production Poultry Tales, I also urge those of us who have the means to donate for a good cause and contribute to the children's art scene. More details will be shared below.


The first question the kids ask when I told them we were going to watch the show was "What is poultry, Mama?" So I took the chance to explain to them how it refers to domesticated birds which are raised for their eggs and meat. We also talked about the three main characters of the show - The Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs, The Little Red Hen and Chicken-Licken - who we are not unfamiliar with.

I was a little shocked when I first sat down and I remember saying to the hubby "What? They haven't finish setting up?". You see, we could see carton boxes, clothes racks, costumes, props and backstage crew clad in black walking in and out. It seemed that they were rushing to get things done and do last minute sound checks, and seriously we had never seen this as a prelude to any show before so the kids and I were a little bewildered. 

Well, it didn't take us more than a few minutes to realise it was a deliberate setup because soon enough, the actors were purposely bumping into each other, making funny faces and doing silly antics. It then dawned on me that this show was going to be a truly unique one because for once, we were going on a tour backstage to see what truly happens during a production.

The show began with the cast explaining to the audience about hand props, costumes, scenery, they showed us how the lighting equipment worked, they mentioned about the markings on the stage so that the backstage crew knew where to move the stuff, they basically gave us a glimpse into the making of a show. Athough it wasn't down to the details, it was enough to make us realise just how much effort and time is needed and all of it goes unseen behind the glamour and bright lights.

I was glad, really glad for this unique segment because it was very enlightening for the kids, who never knew how a theatrical show is made possible. It makes us more informed and also more thankful for all the cast, backstage crew, producers, directors, scripwriters and chereographers who made all these wonderful shows possible for us to watch as a family.

By weaving a story of how four backstage personnel and interns aspire to become famous actors and actresses, they started singing, dancing and making their dreams come true as they made use of the props to act out the first story - Chicken-Licken with the scary acorn!

If you know the story, you will know that it involves Chicken-Licken, Henny-Penny, Cocky-Locky, Ducky-Lucky, Draky-Laky, Goosey-Loosey, Gander-Lander, Turkey-Lurkey, who all thought that the sky had fallen when an acorn fell and were eventually eaten up by Fox-Lox. It was hilarious to see how the each of the actors had to take on multiple roles - which is something that often happens in reality. However, this time round, they would switch masks and change their positions right before your eyes so there is no secrecy and you can see what truly happens. The girls just couldn't stop laughing!

The second story is one of our favourites and it talks about The Goose with The Golden Eggs. This time, we were treated to a proper show - without the backstage talk - and it was complete with beautiful costumes, big round golden eggs and even a cosy little house. The cast did a great job at adapting this popular folklore into something of their own and also added in humour along the way. We were especially amused by how the man used a knife to cut up the goose and how her 'insides' came out - but I shall leave that part for us to know and for you to find out!

The last story is the Little Red Hen, played by the 'backstage manager' who has always dreamed that it would one day be her turn to shine on stage. It revolves around a hen who found some seeds on the ground and decides to plant them so as to make bread. She asks her farm animal friends for help in the process but they rejected her time after time. When they finally agreed to help her eat the bread, she decided that she would just do it herself.

The stories taught us on how we should not trust everything we hear, how we should learn to be contented and not be consumed by greed and that hard work pays off because you reap what you sow. I like how a theatrical show doesn't just keep us occupied and laughing; it also seeks to impart knowledge and instill the right values in our young ones. That is why I make it a point to have a brief discussion with the kids afterwards just to recap what we've watched and conclude using what we've learned. I'm sure, very sure, that we took away fond memories and lessons learnt with every show we've watched.

So yes, despite all the uncertainties and difficulties, we certainly hope that children's theatre will continue to flourish on our shore.

To help in I Theatre's funding, you can donate by
1. Online donation portal - visit www.itheatre.org or at the portals https://www.giving.sg/i-theatre-ltd or https://www.simplygiving.com
2. Send a crossed cheque to I Theatre Ltd at 27 Kerbau Road S219613
3. Place your donation in the box at the foyer if you are attending one of its productions


Poultry Tales Show Details

Sat, 29 Apr - Sun, 14 May 2017
10.30am & 2pm

Drame Centre Theatre

55 minutes with no interval

Ticket Pricing
Standard: S$32 per ticket (excludes booking fee)
Family Package of 4 - S$121.60
Family Package of 5 - S$141.00

Recommended age
For kids 3 and above and families
*Note that while children below 3 years old are allowed, all patrons (including babies-in-arms) will require a valid ticket to enter the theatre.

How to book
Visit any SISTIC outlet, call the ticketing hotline 6348 5555, or book online here.

Disclosure: We received a media invite from I Theatre to review Poultry Tales and received complimentary tickets. All production images are provided and all opinions are our own.

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