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I Theatre Production 2014

On Saturday, we went to watch The Ant and The Grasshopper by I Theatre, a non-profit organization bringing top quality theatre for children and families. This is XX and YH’s second time watching a production. The first was last year’s SICF (Singapore Innovative Children’s Festival) which they enjoyed watching The Balinese Princess. Well, nowadays, children start watching production real young. I rememberedthe first production I watched was a Secondary school production by fellow schoolmates also in Jubilee Hall! And it wasn’t even a professional production!

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Long queue outside Jubilee.. the hall was completely full!

Prior to going for the show, I told them that they will be watching The Ant and The Grasshopper. They exclaimed that they know the story! Wow! I am embarrassed to admit that I have never heard of it other than the traditional The Hare and The Tortoise.

Here’s the story if you didn’t already know!

Once there lived three friends. An Ant – who never seemed to have time for play or relaxation. A Grasshopper, with nothing to do all day. And Caterpillar.

All day long Ant would work hard, collecting and storing food in her larder.

Grasshopper would laugh, and say. ‘Why do you work so hard? Come, and rest awhile. Summer is here; why waste the sunshine in labour and toil?’

Whilst Caterpillar calmly carried on, doing what caterpillars do best…

But Summer does not last long – and soon Winter and the frozen cold will come…

What will happen to the three friends then?

A fast-paced and interactive musical, full of fun. Based on the famous Aesop’s Fable –  with colourful characters, puppets and tuneful, catchy songs. Specially created with the younger audience in mind, but with unexpected twists and turns to keep even the grownups engaged, involved and on their toes!

The show is 55 minutes and is suitable for children 3 years and above as well as for the whole family. Throughout the show, The Grasshopper, The Ant, The Bees and The Caterpillar presented catchy songs and movement mixed with funny dialogues that see the young audience laugh out loud. There was a special appearance of The Ladybird whose hilarious dance moves and cheerful character had everyone laughed hard and long. The actors were good in engaging the kids every now and then to get their responses. The kids even stood up to do a mass exercise with The Grasshopper!

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After the show, I asked XX and YH who was their favourite character. YH loves The Ant as she is the hardworking one, while XX loves the cheerful Ladybird. They kept talking and imitating the funny characters in the show. That’s no doubt they enjoyed the show totally!

How did I feel about the show as an adult?

I read the brochure before entering the Jubilee Hall in Raffles Hotel and here is what the Artistic Producer who wrote the story, said…

This is one of those stories you really think you know – until you examine it a little closer. In the original Fable by Aesop, the ants work all day, never taking time to appreciate the world around them. Whilst the Grasshopper does not see the value in working….

In Singapore we like to think that the Ants are the perfect example of what we should be like. But is the Grasshopper completely wrong in his point of view? And are the ants really following the best path in life? There could be something valuable to learn from the Grasshopper, and the other insects you will meet on the way. In our tiny Island nation I am sure we can learn something from this tiny insect world!

After reading this message, I couldn’t help but thought about the underlying meaning while the story unfolded. I could totally relate to how Singaporeans are a hardworking lot like The Ant but missing out on how The Grasshopper is enjoying nature and appreciating life.

The message is clear. Life is not just work and work. Life is enjoyable too. It would be great if all of us could work hard as we should and not forget to enjoy the nature and appreciate life in this world!

I am not sure if this message gets to the kids. But they certainly had a great chance to appreciate good production shows from young!

The Ant and The Grasshopper is on till 15 March 2014 at the Jubilee Hall, Raffles Hotel.

Almost 13,000 tickets were sold to-date! So grab yours at Sistic now before the production ends! Highly recommended for young children!

For more details on I Theatre and to support their cause to create top quality theatre for children and families as a non-profit organization, visit their facebook or website or email to team@itheatre.org.

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Disclosure: We appreciated I Theatre’s generosity in giving us complimentary tickets to this wonderful production. Not only did the kids had a chance to watch the interesting production, they were educated on how I Theatre helps less privileged children through public donations so that these kids have a chance to watch these great shows too! XX and YH contributed to the donation happily!