The show has ended last Saturday with only 2 performances opened to the public. Although it’s over, I felt compelled to share a review on The Big Bully, an up close and interactive puppetry performance presented by Paper Monkey Theatre. Taking this chance, I also hope that this review will bring about more awareness to the subject and parents will know what to do towards the social education for our children. If each parent do their own little part, we can avoid grooming a complacent, conceited and selfish generation. Also hope that Paper Monkey Theatre would consider a re-run or have it in Chinese version. It’s a great subject to engage the kids with.
How would your response be when a 8 to 9 year old boy shouts out
“I KNOW! I KNOW!! MOLEST HER!!”
when the audience is being prompted that the big bully, Hungry Brush, for the first time in his life, did not know what to do when a subject of bully bravely stood up for herself and said NO?
Having already heard lots of ‘horror’ stories from friends especially with the start of formal schooling, I thought I have heard it all. Or have I not? Read on, for I can’t keep myself from writing this whole article because of what the boy said. I worry for my children when they grow up. Perhaps I should send K to Karate class and make sure she graduates with a black belt before she turns 16?
The young audience was kept engaged with light music and small chat prior to the start of show. Both the actors, Julius and Shirley, chatted with the children and showed them the ways to make use of common household items while waiting for the show to start. They were also briefed the usual theatre etiquette but were assured that although no eating is allowed, drinking is fine as Hungry Brush does not like to drink water. Hahaha!
The show started with a song and dance demo. It’s a pity the kids were not asked to stand up while learning to do the dance. It would up the fun level, I’m sure! After all, it’s a cosy performance with free-seating on the floor.
Jump to the left
Jump to the right
Up & down everything’s alright
Jump to the left
Jump to the right
Jump Jump it’s a beautiful day (3x)
The stage was set with the “help” of the audience. They built a park together with the actors using daily household materials – blue bathroom mat with rubber suction as river, clothes peg as fishes, tile scrub as bushes, fly swap as trees, etc.
Hungry Brush, is aptly named as the bully who was perpetually hungry, and as the name suggests, he’s made using brushes. Hungry Brush preyed on other children at the park like Pan and Sponge and takes their food away. One day, Pan and Sponge decided not to succumb to his bullying anymore and to be strong. They organized a picnic party at the same park. While waiting for Sponge to return with drinks, Pan was alone with her huge picnic basket of treats. Just then, Hungry Brush came along and demanded that she hand over her treats.
Remembering the agreement with Sponge to learn to be strong, she stood up against Hungry Brush and resisted his attempts to snatch the treats from her. Hungry Brush took a step back in surprise and prompted the audience for the next step. He later tried once again to snatch the goodies again and during the struggle, he fell into the river but did not know how to swim.
Just then, Sponge returned and found out from Pan what happened. He also learnt that Hungry Brush couldn’t swim to save his life, he was reluctant to save the latter out of anger that he had been constantly bullied before. Nevertheless, he decided that he should not be no different from the bully and plunged in to save Hungry Brush just in time. When Hungry Brush regained consciousness, he was ashamed that the people who had saved him were those whom he had always bullied. He deeply regretted his actions and decided to turn over a new leaf with the support and love from his new friends.
The kids love to engage with the actors after they watched a performance. Sadly, not many production house entertains a meet-and-greet though! Here, they were having fun with Shirley and chasing Hungry Brush, Pan and Sponge around the room.
At the end of the show, Paper Monkey Theatre also made sure to introduce the 4 different types of puppetry used in puppet performances. They were namely the Hand Puppet (if I remember correctly), String Puppet, Shadow Puppet and lastly Object Puppet (like Hungry Brush) as being used during the performance.
The kids have enjoyed the show and were well engaged. I would have loved to be sitting next to the kids during the performance. Parents were invited to sit on chairs at the sides and back of the room so as to minimize chances of blocking the little ones. As of today, they were still singing the happy song they learnt.
Herewith, we would like to thank Paper Monkey Theatre for extending an invite for us to catch the show. We will definitely bookmark future productions into our calendars. Do keep us posted! 🙂
Disclaimer : We were invited to the above performance. No monetary compensation was received. And as usual, all opinions are our own. All photos belong to SAys! Happy Mums unless otherwise stated. Pls do not reuse without permission.
~ SAys! Shirley 🙂
About Paper Monkey Theatre
Nestled in the lush greenery of Goodman Arts Centre lies Paper Monkey Theatre, where theatre productions and workshops infused with puppetry were created for children and family entertainment, encouraging artistic development and enriching learning experiences. The company is formed in April 2008 helmed by well-known puppeteer/playwright in Singapore, Benjamin Ho, with a vision to create a platform of lasting, meaningful theatrical experiences for both children and adults in Asia.
Every year, Paper Monkey Theatre creates and stage three to four new family oriented productions. At the same time, the team at Paper Monkey Theatre is out and about, bringing performances and conducting workshops at various schools and community spaces.
Through quality theatrical productions, collaborative works and related workshops and programmes, audiences get to experience an exchange of varied art forms, ideas and cultures. A theatre space is developed just for children because of this reason. The Paper Monkey Theatre is a place where children and families can enjoy quality performances with their hearts, a cosy space where audiences can watch puppetry up-close and appreciate it as a unique theatrical art form, an unforgettable experience where audiences are reminded of our Asian culture and values.
Address : Goodman Arts Centre at 90 Goodman Road Block B, #01-05 Singapore 439053 (Map)
We are located in front of the sheltered walkway leading from La Barca Italian Restaurant.
Tel: (65) 6440 5706 | Fax: (65) 6440 5813