Wey had been eagerly waiting to watch Singapore Repertory Theatre‘s year end blockbuster Treasure Island showing at the DBS Arts Centre from 30 October to 29 November 2015. Read our earlier pre-show post.
Seeing his excitement, I got him the classic story by Robert Louis Stevenson (Usborne Young Reading, adapted version) available at MPH. Reading the book made him even more excited to catch the play. I always love that theatre encourages my little one to pick up either a brand new book or a well loved one to read before the play.
As I’ve shared before, one of the reasons why I love Children’s theatre is the opportunity to grow Wey’s love for books. I like that after enjoying the book, he gets to see the story come to live on stage, firing his imagination. Wey likes to point out to me all the parts of the play that are different from the book that he’s read, and how they’ve changed it.
A week ago, we also had the rare opportunity to catch a sneak peep visit to the backstage of the Treasure Island production. SRT kindly showed us the costumes and props which were still being made and it was a visual treat for the curious little ones who kept asking who was wearing what!
Even as the cast was deep in rehearsal, without the makeup, costumes or stage props, they kept us riveted with their beautiful singing and dramatic expression. Wey was really reluctant to leave that day and he couldn’t wait to catch the show… quite frankly, he was not alone, even mummy couldn’t wait too! hehee… 🙂
One week is a long wait (for a child) and the anticipation and excitement grew as Saturday finally drew near! The wait was worthwhile and we were not disappointed at all. SRT’s Treasure Island is definitely a show not to be missed, plus it’s an opportunity to get the kids to pick up a classic storybook to read, so do book your tickets at SISTIC early to avoid disappointment. More show information at the end of post.
SRT’s adaptation of the popular novel gives the time loved story of Treasure Island, a new twist that’s both refreshing and heart-warming. As with the original story, the play follows the adventure of Jim Hawkins (Ann Lek), a lion-hearted 13-year-old (heroine) who yearns for a pirate’s adventure amidst her mundane life running her family inn. She dreams of exploring like her late father. When Billy Bones appears at Benbow Inn and is cursed with a sudden pirate’s death, Jim finds herself with a Treasure Map!
The little ones were captivated by the intrigue as the plot developed with the expected pirates’ betrayal in the bid to get hold of the map and win the treasure! I could see Wey’s intent expression as he watched every movement on stage even as he squealed in delight at familiar parts of the story.
With the clever use of a mix of puppetry, energetic expression and song plus really amazingly beautiful sets, this exciting tale of pirates and hidden treasure got the full attention of the entire audience both young and old, right from the very start.
The cast took what could have been a scary dark story and made it more light-hearted for the children with the lively songs and humour. I for one totally loved Ben Gunn (played by Kimberly Chan) with her Jamaican accent and funny songs, injecting lots of laughter during the play. We last saw Kimberly in SRT’s The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff as Baby and we’re still loving her in Treasure Island as she brilliantly plays her multiple roles as Ben Gunn, Jim’s Mum and nasty Pirate Hands, all effortlessly.
My favourite part of the play must have been when Long John Silver led the pirates to mutiny on board the Hispaniola in order to snatch the treasure map from Squire Trelawny. The furore of of the mutiny left us all on an almost unbearable cliff-hanger as Act One closed for the interval.
The musical is split into two Acts of approximately 75 enjoyable minutes in total plus a 15 minute interval. I did wish that the interval was not quite so long as the kids got really fidgety waiting for Act Two. If you’re not one to like to leave your seats during the break, do bring along something to occupy the kids or you could work on the prepared activities in the Programme booklets provided. I was thankful that I had a book in the bag to keep Wey from repeatedly asking when was the show starting again! hahah…. Phew!
Will it be the end of Jim under the treacherous hands of Long John Silver and his dreadful greedy pirates? Or will she find a way to turn the tide and bring home a more important treasure than the pieces of eight that everyone is after?
As expected, my little one’s absolute favourite part was the swashbuckling action when the pirates converged onto Jim, the Squire and Captain Smollett at the Treasure Cave. Ooo!! Be prepared for some exhilarating exciting action that will keep you at the edge of your seats. Hahha…
The musical has a slightly different twist but I enjoyed SRT’s happy ending because it draws the young audience to value friendship more than material treasures. A reminder for adults and a teachable moment for the little ones to understand that human relationships are the real treasure, far more valuable than monetary treasures. Watch the play to find out how it ends!
My little Mateys (and Me) gave our two thumbs up for this really exhilarating play. I promise it’s a delightful quality production that even parents will enjoy every moment of! Days after watching it, I still find myself humming “Yo-ho-ho and a Bottle of Rum“. Kids 5 years and above will be captivated by the swashbuckling action and plot intrigue. Younger ones will still enjoy the music and songs but may have some difficulty understanding the dialogue. Treasure Island runs till the 29 November, you’ll have only another 3 weekends to catch it!
SAys! Audrey 🙂
About Treasure Island
SISTIC Website Book now at http://sistic.com.sg/events/island1215
SISTIC Hotline (65) 6348 5555
SISTIC Authorised Agents islandwide
Standard: S$35, S$32
*Family Package of 4: S$119 for Cat 1 tickets
*Family Package of 4 (with TLC CD Vol.2): S$131 for Cat 1 ticketsWeekends (Sat & Sun)
Standard: S$45, S$42
*Family Package of 4: S$153 for Cat 1 tickets
*Family Package of 4 (with TLC CD Vol.2): S$165 for Cat 1 tickets
Please refer to http://www.sistic.com.sg for more information about Group discounts/Family Packages available
Note: Photographs unless otherwise stated are copyright of the Singapore Repertory Theatre, The Little Company.