Monday, March 10, 2014

I Theatre - The Ant and the Grasshopper Review

Once upon a time, there was an Ant, Ms. Antoinette Antonia Hill, who was ever so busy and ever so diligent.  Day after day, she’d stock up on nuts to prepare for the cold, harsh winter. And then there was Criminy Grass-hopper (with an hyphen as we were reminded in the play), who spent his days singing and dancing and well, basically singing and dancing all through the seasons…

I Theatre brings much ‘life’ to this wonderful production of the classic Aesop Fable.

Joined by Bee 1 and Bee 2 who brought much laughter and cheekiness to the play, this musical is highly entertaining with catchy songs and audience participation. The Bees costumes were colourful and with their bright personalities, they were clearly a favourite with the audience. 

I really like the casting for the play. Erwin Shah Ismail, was very convincing as Mr. Grasshopper – from his lanky frame to his costume, he played the role of the free spirited grasshopper well. 

Alecia Kim Chua, played the role of Ms. Antoinette to perfection and acted very much like the voice of conscience with her constant attempts to chide and remind the playful grasshopper to prepare for the cold months ahead. 

I like that the play was fairly true to the original tale and I like I Theatre's take on the grasshopper and how his role resembles the rebel in us sometimes. At one point, the exasperated grasshopper retaliated by asking the serious Ms. Antoinette if she has experienced winter? "Have you seen it? How do you even know that it is real? What if all these hard work is for nothing?” 

Where little audience participation is usually expected from the local culture as Singaporeans are, well, just not known to stand up and dance, this 55-minute musical had sporting parents standing up and grooving with their kiddos. 

There was adult humor with Bee 1 and Bee 2 playing on the pun of many “Bee” words and the performance of Coccinella Septempunctata, a ladybird, totally blew me away. From her flashy outfits (quite literally as you will understand after watching the play) to her dramatic exits (no less than 3  times) which were synchronised with drum beats, etc., she had me cracking up but be warned, she may not be everyone’s favourite cup of tea.

As with all of I Theatre's productions there is always much for the little ones to learn. From 'seasons' to 'life cycles / metamorphosis' (of the caterpillar), this production also touches on being receptive to changes, the value of friendship and importantly, hard work. At one point I saw a few parents leaning over to their kiddos and whispering to them “you see, there is a time for work AND a time for play.” :) Yours truly included. 

If you have not already caught it, I’d say grab your tickets quick! After all, you cannot go wrong when almost 13,000 tickets have been sold and two shows have been added on due to the great response received!

Date: 26 February - 18 March 2014 
Duration: 55mins with no interval
Most suitable for: 3 to 12 years old and families!
Venue: Jubilee Hall, Raffles Hotel

You can purchase your tickets from Sistic here

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Disclaimer: We were invited to watch the production and give our opinions of it. We were not compensated for the post. All opinions expressed are entirely mine.   

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