Saturday, April 29, 2017

Making Magic: A Review of I Theatre's Poultry Tales

Lights! Camera! Action!

Every eye is riveted on the glitzy actors and actresses in their fancy costumes. And every effort is made in order to transform an ordinary theatre stage into a magical wonderland. After all, didn't the great bard once remark that "All the world is a stage and that men and women are merely actors and actresses with their own entrances and exits"?

But William Shakespeare did not tell the full tale. Behind every successful actor is not only his or her performance, but also the numerous hidden men and women who work tirelessly behind the scenes, the "unseen but always present" invisible hands that keep the theatre production going like a clock in perpetual motion. 
Ever wondered who are behind the "invisible hands" that make each musical production work?
I Theatre's Poultry Tales is a show within a show. The production centres on the work of four stage crew as they make preparations for an upcoming performance. The crew tell three stories, Chicken-Licken, The Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs, and The Little Red Hen
Chicken-Licken. A masked play where every face represents a different character.
Travel back to the Wild Wild West in The Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs with its
period costumes and swashbuckling action.
The Little Red Hen is a musical extravaganza with "magic" in the air!
Each of the stories is separate, but I Theatre neatly strings them together through the actions of the stage crew, who take the opportunity to also share about how a theatre production is put together. For instance, the audience learns that a "hand prop" is not a "prop that is carried on the hand", but an item that is the "personal property of an actor". Similarly, the audience is also taught theatrical terms such what is a "flybar" and what are "legs". 

I believe this is the first children's theatre performance that provides kids with an idea of what a production is all about. I Theatre says that in its 16 years on stage, there are many children who are keen to explore and understand what theatre is all about; and Poultry Tales chooses to answer these questions in a fun and entertaining manner.
Halt who goes there! Behind every successful show is an outstanding set of stage crew.
Educational aspects notwithstanding, Poultry Tales is not unlike many of the outstanding I Theatre productions we have seen. Scenery, script, music and dance all come together to create an eclectic and memorable musical sensation. For instance, the background scenery is beautiful, with houses that move and hills that roll. The actors are a familiar group, with Elizabeth Loh, Isabella Chiam, Daphne Ong and Darren Guo all regular names in the I Theatre circuit. As for the songs, the dynamic coupling of Bang Wenfu and Cathy Kee result in musical numbers that bring the production to life. 
Sizzling action from the cast of Poultry Tales!
At the heart of every I Theatre production is the visionary leadership of Artistic Director Brian Seward, who believes in stories with strong moral values. For Poultry Tales, Seward has embarked upon an ambitious project with a different genre for each of the three tales. The production is also put together with sensory-friendly considerations for children who might otherwise find the theatre to be a scary place, details such as lighting that is not too dark or sound volumes that are not too loud. These elements result in the creation of a project that is a great hit with the children, and also rich with many theatrical elements that the kids can appreciate and enjoy.
One for the road!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

No Fowl Play! A Giveaway for I Theatre's Poultry Tales

Cluck Cluck!

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To get to the Golden Eggs of course!

Wait a minute. That doesn't sound right.

Of course. 

She crossed the road because the sky was falling!

Oops. I meant she actually had some delicious bread to bake, but no one was there to help her!

Oh no. I got it all wrong.

But did i?

I Theatre presents a new and interactive musical production that tells the story of not one, not two, but three feathered friends!

There's The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs, The Little Red Hen, and Chicken-Licken!

And the trio band together to hatch a tale which stitches together a whole host of well-known folk stories.

And it's no fowl play. The chickies will be sharing with the audience how a musical is made, and will share about the themes and morals of the stories.

As I Theatre promises, the show is "guaranteed to engage young and old alike", and is "specially designed with excitement, humour and learning points."

Coming to the Drama Centre Theatre from 27 April to 14 May!

Parenting on Purpose is pleased to partner with I Theatre to host an exciting giveaway of 2 sets of 4 tickets each. This will be for the 10.30 am show on Sunday, 30 April 2017.

How to qualify for the giveaway:

1) Like the Parenting on Purpose Facebook page.

2) Share this blog post on your Facebook Wall and tag three friends (not including the friend who had tagged you. Remember to ensure that privacy settings are set to "Public".)

For an extra chance to win:

Comment on this post (not on the Facebook page) and share with us one thing you like about fowl. Please leave your email so that we will be able to contact you should you win the contest!

The giveaway will end on Monday 24 April and entries must be submitted by 5pm.

And the winners of the giveaway goes to....

Sophia Ong and Catherine Soon!

Winners can collect the tickets from the I Theatre office at 27 Kerbau Rd, Singapore 219163 during office hours from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm. Please call 6341 5960 before collection.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Meet My New Korean Diaper Bag! (Or What's In a Homeschool Mom's Bag)

Yes, I know. It's not a new tall, dark and handsome Korean movie star in our home, but the prospect of my new Korean backpack arriving by courier filled me with much anticipation last week. 

I have been searching for quite a while for a new "Mommy" bag for myself, ever since my kids grew out of diapers. Something practical and still convenient to tote around, yet presentable and functional, which I could still wear out on most occasions, like going to church, without me looking like I was out for a trek with my boys (which happens to be my usual sort of OOTD, accompanied by a comfortable pair of shoes.) 

As a homeschool mom, my bag often serves lots of purposes, from carrying picnic food for a park outing to holding homeschool resources for our weekly Classical Conversations class. When TLO, or Thelittleonesinmylife, distributor for some of the household brands of baby products, such as Haenim and Bellamom, offered the chance to review their new range of bags, I jumped at the opportunity. 

Don't you love the sweet animal prints?
The perfect occasion for testing the new bag out came soon after I received it, because we had a family wedding to attend. I already appreciated the muted tones and sweet Korean prints - not too obviously for children, and still suitable for a mum to carry around regardless of the outfit she is wearing.

Don't you think that the whimsical designs are so pretty? And they match my wedding outfit!
I always find it a challenge keeping the kids occupied during wedding ceremonies. We've had several narrow escapes with my toddler attempting to crawl down the aisle towards the bride, and my older one trying to tie the handbag of the lady in front of us in knots. I decided on that day to maximise the space my new backpack afforded, and to pack an arsenal of supplies to keep them peacefully engaged during the wedding.

My arsenal of supplies for the kids to occupy them during the wedding!
The BlessingForYou bag is extremely spacious, as you can tell. I managed to get two Mercy Watson books (my sons' favourite series), one Star Wars pencil case, one coloured pencils set, one notebook, and two zip lock packs of Lego and foam stickers into the main compartment, with room to spare for my wallet. Impressive, no?

I love the spacious fit of the bag. The zip is easy to access.
The inside compartment also includes two separate sections for food/ water, as well as some zippered sections for more storage division. Have I told you how much I love bags with pockets? I managed to get two mineral water bottles and a pack of cheezels in as well, for good measure! The bag is also insulated and perfect for keeping milk bottles or cold drinks.

Our snacks. The bag would be great for packing picnic food or keeping milk warm!
There is also a sizeable outer pocket for small items.
The bag can be opened from both the wide zip in front, as well as a zip along the lining on top. This makes it extremely practical for us moms to reach in for whatever we might need to retrieve without having to rummage around in search of it.

The top zip for easy access.
There are side pockets for stashing stuff last minute!
The inner zip pocket! I love all these pockets.
The bag can be carried three ways - the backpack straps can be slipped out of the zipped compartment, and attached with the clasps. The straps can also be looped onto a stroller. The bag also comes with a longer strap so it can be slung over the shoulders.

The bag straps can be slipped out and attached.
All in all, I love this bag for its functionality and style! It has a perfect balance of both. There are so many uses for it and there are so many pretty designs that I feel like getting a tote bag from them as well. Can't wait to use our backpack again on our next homeschool outing!

TLO's new range of BlessingForYou bags from Korea is to be launched at the upcoming Baby Market fair this weekend from 7-9 April at the Singapore EXPO. They will subsequently be releasing the new designs fortnightly on their store website in limited quantities. Please do visit their booth at the Expo to check more of the designs! 

*Parenting on Purpose received one Roy backpack and one Mummy pouch for the purposes of this review. All opinions are proudly our own!