{Review} Catch A Taste of The Forbidden |Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress

I’ve heard so much about this wonderful Dick Lee musical Forbidden City : Portrait of an Empress starring Kit Chan but each time it was staged before, I was out stationed. No wonder then that the hubs and I were really looking forward to finally go to the Esplanade Theatres to catch this well-loved classic and of course to see Kit Chan on stage!


Local theatre goers must have this epic musical as their 2017 Must Do, Must Watch musical and who could challenge that? Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress first commissioned by Esplanade- Theatres on the Bay for Esplanade’s Opening Festival in October 2002 has had a sell-out season at each restaging (in Sept 2003 and 2006).

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Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress is the story of Empress Dowager Ci Xi (played by Kit Chan), her love story, betrayals and struggles, rise to absolute power, even as China was increasingly being ravaged by foreign powers as the Qing Dynasty struggled to retain control of China.

As the musical opened, I could feel the excitement and anticipation rising in the hushed audience. It was almost unbelievable that I was finally watching this epic musical at the Esplanade. The little one who has a love for history was equally in awe, this being his first ‘adult’ musical! Plus, he was eagerly anticipating watching Kit Chan, the singer of his favourite National Day song – Home! What a treat!

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The Empress Dowager CiXi played by Cheryl Tan, Kit Chan and Sheila Francisco depicting different stages of her life.

The musical wasted no time in introducing the Dragon Lady and very soon we were transported into an unfamiliar time when the Emperor’s rule was absolute and his wants were insatiable (including his harem of concubines). As the older Empress CiXi (played by Sheila Francisco ) recounted her life’s hopes, joys, love, disappointments, struggles we were also given a running history of the ebbs and flows of the Qing Dynasty.

Empress CIxi

Forbidden City was a musical treat from the very start. Dick Lee’s beautiful music was equally matched with the excellent vocals of the 2017 cast.

With big shoes to fill, credit must be given to Cheryl Tan who plays the young Yehenara this time instead of Kit Chan. Her voice crystal clear as always, was powerful and captivating. We’ve watched her as Juliet in SRT’s Shakespeare in the Park Romeo & Juliet, as Ivy in Dick Lee’s Beauty World and even as Little Bo Frilly in SRT’s The Three Billy Goats Gruff, and I think this is by far her best musical performance ever. She was calm yet vibrant, playing a more matured heroine this time, putting away her usual more animated and girlish characterisations.

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The young Yehenara (Cheryl Tan) with her hopes so high of finding true love with the Emperor.

Cheryl Tan lifted and refreshed us with her stunning vocals throughout Act One. I think the audience could feel Yehenara’s disappointment and betrayal when the Emperor quite quickly forgot about her after three months of what seemed like a fairy tale love affair. (I was amazed that when one got pregnant by the Emperor, he shelves you!!)

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My favourite has got to be the really entertaining Record Keepers played by Sebastian Tan (Singapore’s favourite Broadway Beng) and Dwayne Lau (SRT’s Treasure Island). They were just the perfect amount of humour and wit! The Record Keepers were brilliant and everyone in the audience adored them… maybe because they added the light-hearted fun in an otherwise depressing storyline perhaps? haha…

FC_Recordkeepers1

FC_Recordkeepers

I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed that we had to wait till Act Two before Kit Chan came on. Although every part of Act One was enjoyable, I still wished that the talented Kit Chan was on stage earlier and sang more… for she did not disappoint. Her well trained vocals was not only emotive, she commanded the presence only a star like her could. Everyone just could not get enough of her, I know that for a fact.

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Kit made us all feel the deep sorrows a mother (even a Dragon Lady) must have felt for the passing of her child. If there were doubts that Empress Dowager ever cared for anyone, she removed it. How her heart must have broke when Emperor Tung Chih’s life was wasted. I teared as I watched and listened.

FC_TungChih

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The stage sets were a awesome. Beautiful. Simple yet effective. I especially loved the funeral scene where the stage was opened up to reveal the depth of the really amazing theatre stage of the Esplanade! I had no idea it was so deep… other times when I’ve been to the Esplanade theatres, the productions had never used this to their visual advantage.

Forbidden City is Wey’s first ‘adult’ musical and I was half wondering if he would be able to sit through the 2 hour musical. As it turns out, I needn’t have worried because my 8 year old was totally absorbed throughout. So if you are wondering if your not-so young children will enjoy the musical, I would think so. He was intrigued by the larger than life characters and the story unfolding onstage, the beautiful stage sets and costumes and quite simply the awesome music. In fact, when the musical ended, he actually let out a cry of dismay “Oh?! That’s the end?!!?”; much to the amusement of the people seated around us. Of course, be prepared to answer questions along the lines of : ” Mama, what’s a brothel? Why did the Emperor go there?” ” What disease did he get from the brothel and why?” haha… I took it as a good teaching point moment although I did not quite go into too much details. 🙂

Not all musicals are created equal. It has been more than a decade since Singapore last watched this highly acclaimed iconic made-in Singapore musical and for me, Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress is still as stunning and magical as ever. When you go to see this musical, you will come away in awe at not just the entire production, but an amazement at our local talents.

Don’t miss this amazing timeless musical by local theatre big names or you may have to wait yet another decade for its restaging. Also this may very well be the last time to catch Kit Chan in the role as Empress Ci Xi! If you haven’t already booked tickets, be sure not to be stingy on the tickets, get the best seats for a better view, it’s worth every dollar! I promise! 

Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress plays at the Esplanade Theatre from 8 -27 August 2017. Book Early for the best Category Seats to enjoy the epic musical fully. Tickets available from Esplanade Box Office at https://www.esplanade.com/events/2017/forbidden-city-portrait-of-an-empress, more details at end of post.

Thanks for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

~ SAys! Audrey

We are grateful for the opportunity to attend Forbidden City – Portrait of an Empress, for the purposes of this review. We were not remunerated monetarily for the review, all opinions and experiences remain our own alone. All photos unless otherwise mentioned are copyright of SRT and were provided for the purposes of this review. All other photos remain the copyright property of SAys! Happy Mums and may not be reproduced without prior notice or written permission given.

About Forbidden City – Portrait of an Empress

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When : 8 to 27 August 2017| Tues – Fri: 8pm | Sat : 3pm & 8pm |  Sunday : 1.30pm & 6pm

Where : Esplanade Theatre 

Duration : Approximately 2hrs (including a 20min intermission)

Ticket Pricing :
Tue–Thu, Evening / Sat, Matinee / Sun, Matinee & Evening
Standard: $58, $78, $98, $118
VIP: $128
Restricted View: $38

Fri & Sat, Evening
Standard: $68, $88, $108, $128
VIP: $138
Restricted View: $38

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{Review} A Night with Shakespeare in the Park | Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare In The Park - Romeo & Juliet

This Mother’s Day we decided to do something different … we had a rather unusual date night at the park, plus Shakespeare. Perhaps it was the thrill and exhilaration of doing something different, it felt fun, almost like a first date (haha)… Yup we were on our way to our very first Shakespeare in the Park at Fort Canning!

The hubs is not an outdoor person and we’ve largely never entertained the thought of Shakespeare in the Park for obvious reasons haha…. Singapore’s humid weather is not for the faint hearted.

Shakespeare in the Park Romeo and Juliet

On a rather unusual date with the hubs 🙂

As a Lit student back in my college days, I’d always wanted to catch a Shakespearean play. Back then, the arts scene was very different. There was markedly less support for the arts and probably less like-minded people committed to the arts. When I arrived at Fort Canning park on Sunday evening, I was really taken by surprise. A large crowd had already  gathered at the Gothic Gate way before 6.30pm! Wow!

Shakespeare in the Park Romeo and Juliet

Huge crowds gathering as early as 6pm, braving the humidity and heat for Shakespeare

It made me feel so proud to see Singapore out on a summer’s night coming for a night of Shakespeare 😉 Shakespeare indeed continues to hold his audience 400 years later!

The long queue to get inside was fast moving and picnic mats filled up the entire grounds quickly. We made our way further towards the right side of the stage seeing that most of the front was already filled. (It turns out that was a very good vantage point as most of the play actually took place on the right! So don’t be afraid to move on in and spread your mats without the squeeze!)

Once we got comfortable, we were ready for dinner before the show. The hubs prepared a really good Caesar’s salad, snacks and grapes while Shirley brought along sandwiches and drinks.  We were ready to kick off those shoes and experience our very first Shakespeare in the Park 🙂

Thankfully, it was cooler than imagined and everyone was all set for a fun relaxed night. The grounds was abuzz with friendly chatter, excited conversations and laughter. Friends catching up, couples hand in hand and families having a good time.

Perhaps the greatest love story ever told, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet needs no introduction. A classic tale of sweet forbidden love, the tragedy of a bitter family feud, SRT’s Romeo and Juliet opened to wild cheers from the audience as the skies darkened and the stars came out to play.

Romeo & Juliet

Set in a somewhat modern day city state, the simple stage was brilliantly done with different small sections separated by stairs and height levels plus a centre stage where Juliet’s bed and tomb eventually would be.

Cleverly designed multi-levelled, multi-sectioned stage

This made for easy change of scenes, zooming in for more intimate private moments (balcony scene) between the two lovebirds and zooming out for large scenes (fight scenes). I liked the clever crack running through across the entire stage, reminding the audience about the opposing feuding families we were about to meet.

Thomas Pang was delightful in his role as Romeo. Energetic, polished and spirited, this handsome Romeo would have caused younger hearts in the audience to fall helplessly in love with Romeo that night. 🙂

Thomas Pang and Cheryl Tan sharing a Romeo Juliet moment

Familiar face Cheryl Tan (who played Ivy Chan in Dick Lee’s Beauty World and Little Bo-Frilly in SRT’s Three Billy Goats Gruff) plays Juliet, with her usual vibrant and animated acting as in her previous roles. I would have appreciated a gentler more demure Juliet than the one at the park that night. But perhaps her characterisation was more in line with the modernity that the production was aiming for.

Juliet on her balcony thinking about her Romeo

Ramesh Panicker was every part the important Capulet patriarch, Juliet’s father, and played his role with presence and formality. One clearly got the sense that he was someone not to be trifled with.

Overall, the strong cast kept the entire audience riveted to the developments on stage which were fast paced and none too draggy.

Do also keep a look out for Edward Choy (Goh Keng Swee ~ The LKY Musical) who plays Paris the disappointed suitor, Shane Mardjuki (SRT’s Hello Goodbye) who plays Mercutio the impulsive friend of Romeo and Benjamin Chow (Lim Chin Siong ~ The LKY Musical/ The Troll in SRT’s The Three Billy Goats Gruff),  who plays Benvolio Montague.

Audiences will not have missed the dramatic accompanying music setting the mood of each scene so precisely. From the romantic scenes of the two young star-crossed lovers to the fight scenes as Tybalt challenges Romeo and then the sense of urgency and shock of Mercutio’s death, the music of Ruth Ling set the tone for the play to perfection. Special mention must also be made about the exquisite costumes designed by award winning Moe Kasim, which gave the play a distinctive modern yet Asian feel especially at the Capulet’s party.

Going to this play made me feel like a hopeful school girl again and brought back fond memories of those carefree college days. I had fun and am thankful for the special company I had that night – my beloved (who isn’t quite a Shakespearean fan)… but said he had a fun night too haha…

I am hopeful that we’ll be able to venture to more park productions if they come by again. However, it is highly likely that this Shakespeare in the Park- Romeo and Juliet would be the last park production for a while (unless a patron sponsor is found soon) so don’t miss out on this very special experience.

The run ends on May 22nd 2016, at Fort Canning, entrance by the Gothic Gate. Book your tickets at SISTIC, show details at end of post.

If you do go, be early as carpark is limited (nearest carpark – Carpark A, 50 spaces) but free at night 🙂 Otherwise, park at Park Mall and make a short walk across to Fort Canning Hill. Also everyone gets there early to get best seats as it’s free seating!

Thank you for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

SAys! Audrey :) 

We are grateful for the opportunity to attend SRT’s Shakespeare in the Park ~ Romeo and Juliet, for the purposes of this review. We were not remunerated monetarily for the review, all opinions and experiences remain our own alone. All photos unless otherwise mentioned are copyright of SRT and were provided for the purposes of this review. All other photos remain the copyright property of SAys! Happy Mums and may not be reproduced without prior notice or written permission given.

About Shakespeare in the Park – Romeo and Juliet

Romeo & Juliet

Dates: Wed, 27 Apr – Sun, 22 May 2016 @ 7.30pm (Park opens at 6.30pm)

Venue: Fort Canning Park (Located at Gothic Gate at Carpark A)

Ticketing: SISTIC website or call 6348 5555

Ticket Pricing (Excludes Booking Fee)

Romeo & Juliet by SRT

Preview show (27 & 28 Apr 2016) & all Wednesday shows

Picnic:
Advanced Ticket – S$40 (Available until one day before performance)
Standard Ticket – S$50 (Event Day)

*Premium Picnic:
Advanced Ticket – S$58 (Available until one day before performance)
Standard Ticket – S$68 (Event Day)

Pavilion Package – S$85
(Includes a priority queue, a seat, 2 glasses of wine or soft drinks, canapes and souvenir programme.)

Thu, Fri and Sun shows except 1 May(PH)

Picnic:
Advanced Ticket – S$48 (Available until one day before performance)
Standard Ticket – S$58 (Event Day)

*Premium Picnic:
Advanced Ticket – S$68 (Available until one day before performance)
Standard Ticket – S$78 (Event Day)

Pavilion Package – S$98
(Includes priority queue, a seat, 2 glasses of wine or soft drinks, canapes and souvenir programme.)

Sat shows
1 May (Labour Day) and 21 May (Vesak Day)

Picnic:
Advanced Ticket – S$58 (Available until one day before performance)
Standard Ticket – S$68 (Event Day)

*Premium Picnic:
Advanced Ticket – S$78 (Available until one day before performance)
Standard Ticket – S$88 (Event Day)

Pavilion Package – S$108
(Includes priority queue, a seat, 2 glasses of wine or soft drinks, canapes and souvenir programme.)

 *Includes priority queue, a spot in the Reserved Picnic area near the stage and an inflatable backrest.

 

{Review} Gimme Hanuman The SuperHero Monkey!

Hanuman The Superhero Monkey
So we finally got to watch SRT’s Hanuman The Superhero Monkey on Sunday and it was certainly a hit with the kiddos!
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The boys have been asking to watch Hanuman since they saw the theatre graphics and promotional posters and pamphlets, and no wonder. The word SuperHero + Monkey is bound to get curious little boys all excited!
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Happy trooper all set to watch The Superhero Monkey!

I was actually not very sure what the story line would be about but trusted that since it was a SRT The Little Company production, everything would hit the right note for the young audience. It seems I was totally RIGHT!! (hehhe … I told you so?)
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You may be wondering as I was, who Hanuman is?
Hanuman The Superhero Monkey
Hanuman is a very special monkey with super powers. Somehow along the way, he lost his powers or forgot he had them because he did not apply them to good use.
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The story starts with Queen Sita, beloved wife of Rama, being taken by the Demon King, Ravana. Lord Rama then looks for Hanuman, his childhood friend, to help him rescue Sita. Will Hanuman regain his powers? Will he be able to defeat the powerful and cruel Demon King to rescue Lord Rama’s beloved Queen? Catch the show to find out 🙂
Zachary Ibrahim (2) as Hanuman in Hanuman - The Superhero Monkey
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Although the production does not have as many songs as the usual TLC productions, the play is unusual and cleverly uses multimedia to transport the young audience into the world of Hanuman the Superhero Monkey and his journey to finding himself and rescuing Sita.
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Honestly, this is my first time experience with such a one- of -a-kind visually sensational production for children, and what a winner it is! It felt almost like watching a superhero comic strip coming to live onstage… haha with the BOOM! and the WHAM! BAM! flashing across the stage… Touted as a multi-sensory theatre experience for the kids, I think it was an eye-opening fun treat for them. Most certainly something what the young ones would call Cool!
Millicent Wong, Zachary Ibrahim and Sean Lai in Hanuman - The Superhero ...
The kids were captivated throughout the story with the dynamic displays onstage. Wey commented that he loved the show because it was so colourful and lively with all the audio visual displays and fun because of the part-cartoon effects. He said it was “exciting! like a real adventure!” and couldn’t stop talking about it to his grandma after the show.
Hanuman

Gathering his gang to face Ravana the Demon King

The suspenseful parts were not frightening but left the young audience at the edge of their seats in anticipation. Wey loved the kung-fu action when the monkeys practiced their fitness routine… Boys and sticks! haha… He told me he wished he had the same fight stick as Hanuman and his gang! (No way, you’re getting near sticks now! )
 Jo Tan, Millicent Wong, Fazli bin Ahmad, Sean Lai and Zachary Ibrahim in...
I liked that despite the unfamiliar tale, the kids got to explore and expand their horizons with this Indian folklore. What was a great take home was the wonderful themes of bravery, loyalty, friendship, determination to do good against all odds and most of all self-belief. It was a fun light hearted production to catch, highly recommended if you want a visual treat and something different for a change.
Sean Lai, Millicent Wong, Jo Tan, Zachary Ibrahim and Fazli bin Ahmad in...
Catch Hanuman and his band of playful cheeky little monkey friends on their adventure to rescue Queen Siva from the Demon King Ravana. Hanuman the Superhero Monkey plays at the KC Arts Centre for the entire month of April 2016, so don’t miss your chance to get some action-packed monkey fun at the theatres! You can book at SISTIC http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/hanu0416 now.
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Thanks for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

SAys! Audrey

About Hanuman

Hanuman

When: 1 to 30 April 2016 |  Tue – Fri : 10am |  Sat & Sun: 11am, 2pm | 9 April 2pm April 2pm is a Charity Show dedicated to raise funds for Zonta Club’s Pari Project

Where: KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT

Who: 5 year olds and above 

(if parents wish to bring their infant-in-arms or children below the age of 5, both parent and child will be required to purchase a ticket.)

Duration: Approx. 45 min with no interval

Ticket Price (excludes SISTIC charges)

Weekdays
Standard: S$28, S$25 Family Package of 4: S$95 for Cat 1 tickets Family Package of 4 (with TLC CD Vol.2): S$107 for Cat 1 tickets
Weekends (Sat, Sun & Public Holiday)
Standard: S$48, S$38, S$35 | 9 April 2016, 2pm: S$53, S$48 |
Family Package of 4: Cat 1* (with photo taking): $163  Cat 2 (no photo taking): $129 |
Family Package of 4 (with TLC CD Vol.2):  Cat 1* (with photo taking): $175  Cat 2 (no photo taking): $141
*Ticket includes a photo taking session with the cast in costume. (Applicable for Weekend show only.)
For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/littlemagsg.
Tickets available through:
SISTIC Website

SISTIC Hotline (65) 6348 5555
SISTIC Authorised Agents islandwide

{Giveaway} Shakespeare in the Park ~ Romeo & Juliet | Celebrating Shakespeare’s life & works 400 years on

Romeo & Juliet by SRT

If you’ve always hated Literature as a subject but loved reading books simply just to venture into a far faraway land without worrying over Grade A or F, you would be familiar with William Shakespeare and his works.  The tragic love story between Romeo & Juliet is perhaps the most classic story used during schools days.

Today, 400 years following the death of William Shakespeare, Singapore Repertory Theatre specially presents Romeo & Juliet as the ninth production in the Shakespeare in the Park series. Past productions from the series include The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Much Ado About.

To join in on the celebrations over Shakespeare’s life and works, SRT has chosen to stage what is probably Shakespeare’s most well-loved play, which has had a profound influence on music, film, theatre and debates over the years.  For us, it will be our first Shakespeare in the Park experience and we are really excited over the opportunity.  If you have any tips to share, please tell us!

Romeo & Juliet by SRT

SRT’s production of Romeo & Juliet will be the biggest Shakespeare production in this part of the world in 2016. It will be a stunning contemporary production created by some of the best theatre practitioners on and off stage.

“Our production of Romeo & Juliet focuses on the breathless quality of the play, of love tragically cut off before it ever really begins. Set in a modern dystopia, our production presents a heartbreaking tale of forbidden love, fatal choices and passion bigger than life itself. Come to the park to recapture the feeling that never leaves you: first love.” – Daniel Slater, Director of Romeo & Juliet

The annual tradition of Shakespeare in the Park attracts up to 30,000 people from all walks of life and is an anchor event in the cultural calendars of many.

The young lovers will be portrayed by Thomas Pang (Tribes) and Cheryl Tan (Beauty World and Red Riding Hood), with Remesh Panicker, Shane Mardjuki and Daniel Jenkins in other leading roles.

Giveaway

We have TWO (2) pairs of Picnic Tickets with a total worth of $200 for our readers.  So grab your spouse or BFF and take part in this giveaway together for maximum chance!  Winners will be receiving a pair of tickets each.  Just click on the image below to take part.  Do follow the instructions below to take part for your chance to win!

Romeo & Juliet by SRT

Click on this image to take part in the Rafflecopter Giveaway

Terms and Conditions:

  • Giveaway ends 16 April 2016, Saturday at 0000hrs.
  • Prize is fixed and cannot be changed to a different day or time.
  • The Winner will be notified by the email provided under the blog comments and must reply within 48 hours, failing which, a new winner will be drawn, without notice.
  • This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only.
  • The Sponsor reserves the right to request for a redraw if the drawn winner on our blog has also won tickets to the show from another giveaway.
  • Incomplete entries will be disqualified without notice. Decisions are final and no changes/disputes will be entertained.
  • All information is solely collected for the purpose of this giveaway and we will not send unsolicited emails to your inbox unless you have opted to subscribe to us (on the right of this page!).
  • This giveaway is in no manner associated with any social media accounts except our blog.

Best of luck!

~ SAys! Shirley & Audrey 🙂

About Romeo & Juliet

Dates: Wed, 27 Apr – Sun, 22 May 2016 @ 7.30pm (Park opens at 6.30pm)

Venue: Fort Canning Park (Located at Gothic Gate at Carpark A)

Ticketing: SISTIC website or call 6348 5555

Ticket Pricing (Excludes Booking Fee)

Romeo & Juliet by SRT

Preview show (27 & 28 Apr 2016) & all Wednesday shows

Picnic:
Advanced Ticket – S$40 (Available until one day before performance)
Standard Ticket – S$50 (Event Day)

*Premium Picnic:
Advanced Ticket – S$58 (Available until one day before performance)
Standard Ticket – S$68 (Event Day)

Pavilion Package – S$85
(Includes a priority queue, a seat, 2 glasses of wine or soft drinks, canapes and souvenir programme.)

Thu, Fri and Sun shows except 1 May(PH)

Picnic:
Advanced Ticket – S$48 (Available until one day before performance)
Standard Ticket – S$58 (Event Day)

*Premium Picnic:
Advanced Ticket – S$68 (Available until one day before performance)
Standard Ticket – S$78 (Event Day)

Pavilion Package – S$98
(Includes priority queue, a seat, 2 glasses of wine or soft drinks, canapes and souvenir programme.)

Sat shows
1 May (Labour Day) and 21 May (Vesak Day)

Picnic:
Advanced Ticket – S$58 (Available until one day before performance)
Standard Ticket – S$68 (Event Day)

*Premium Picnic:
Advanced Ticket – S$78 (Available until one day before performance)
Standard Ticket – S$88 (Event Day)

Pavilion Package – S$108
(Includes priority queue, a seat, 2 glasses of wine or soft drinks, canapes and souvenir programme.)

 *Includes priority queue, a spot in the Reserved Picnic area near the stage and an inflatable backrest.

[Update 19 Apr ’16]
Our heartiest congratulations to below winners for fulfilling the requirements in the Rafflecopter giveaway!  We will be in touch shortly with regards to prize redemption details.
Romeo & Juliet by SRT
[Update 19 Apr ’16]

{Giveaway} SRT’s Hanuman |Share to Win a Family Package worth $129

Hanuman The Superhero Monkey

Fresh from the fun we had at SRT’s 三只山羊 The Three Billy Goats Gruff, we’re all set to catch yet another excellent production by SRT! Yep! Hanuman will be staged at the KC Arts Centre 1-30 April 2016

Wey and R are all excited to catch this new production and have been asking about it since they saw the theatre graphics and promotional pamphlets at the SRT last month!

Who is Hanuman?

Hanuman.jpg

Hanuman is a superhero monkey, who destroys monsters, defeats evil kings and restores order to the world. Follow his journey –part cartoon, part film, part musical and part physical theatre– into a land of myth, mystery and many adventures. Wow! Getting excited about Hanuman yet?
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SRT’s The Little Company presents this original multimedia and highly visual multi-sensory theatre experience. Celebrate the year of the Monkey with Hanuman as you watch worlds and landscapes change in the blink of an eye and witness the extraordinary feats of Hanuman and his cheeky band of monkey friends as they battle to create a better world.
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If you haven’t already gotten tickets yet, do hurry as the last I checked, tickets are selling out fast for weekend shows! You can book at SISTIC http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/hanu0416 now.
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We’ve got a Family Package of 4 tickets worth $192 to watch Hanuman on 3 April 2016, Sunday at 11AM  for Giveaway!

GIVEAWAY : WIN a Family Package of 4 tickets worth $129!

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To take part and qualify, please make sure all the following steps are completed:

1) COMMENT on this blog post stating your Facebook Name and IG Handle (only if you have re-shared on IG for your bonus entry -see below).

2) LIKE SAys! Happy Mums  and  Singapore Repertory Theatre on Facebook.

3) LIKE and SHARE this Facebook post on YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE with the caption “Tag @Friend A Tag @Friend B Tag @Friend C @Friend D @Friend E Share to Win A Family Package to SRT’s #Hanuman with @SAys Happy Mums”. DO set your post to PUBLIC so that we are able to verify your entry.

Bonus entry:

  1. Follow us on Instagram {@sayshappymums}
  2. Re-gram this photo on IG and tag @sayshappymums #SRT #Hanuman + 3 Friends

Terms and Conditions:

  • Giveaway ends 29 March 2016, Tuesday at 11.59PM.
  • Show date and time is on 3 April 2016, Sunday at 11AM and cannot be changed to a different day or time.
  • The Winner will be notified by the email provided under the blog comments and must reply within 24 hours, failing which, a new winner will be drawn, without notice.
  • Tickets can be collected at the Box Office, 1 hour before the show starts, at the KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT. 
  • This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only.
  • The Sponsor reserves the right to request for a redraw if the drawn winner on our blog has also won tickets to the show from another giveaway.
  • Incomplete entries will be disqualified without notice. Decisions are final and no changes/disputes will be entertained.
  • All information is solely collected for the purpose of this giveaway and we will not send unsolicited emails to your inbox unless you have opted to subscribe to us (on the right!).
  • This giveaway is in no manner associated with any social media accounts except our blog.

Best of luck and see you at the SRT soon! Stay tuned to our Winner Announcement and Review post too!

Thanks for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

SAys! Audrey

About Hanuman

Hanuman

When: 1 to 30 April 2016 |  Tue – Fri : 10am |  Sat & Sun: 11am, 2pm | 9 April 2pm April 2pm is a Charity Show dedicated to raise funds for Zonta Club’s Pari Project

Where: KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT

Who: 5 year olds and above 

(if parents wish to bring their infant-in-arms or children below the age of 5, both parent and child will be required to purchase a ticket.)

Duration: Approx. 45 min with no interval

Ticket Price (excludes SISTIC charges)

Weekdays
Standard: S$28, S$25 Family Package of 4: S$95 for Cat 1 tickets Family Package of 4 (with TLC CD Vol.2): S$107 for Cat 1 tickets
Weekends (Sat, Sun & Public Holiday)
Standard: S$48, S$38, S$35 9 April 2016, 2pm: S$53, S$48 |
Family Package of 4: Cat 1* (with photo taking): $163  Cat 2 (no photo taking): $129 |
Family Package of 4 (with TLC CD Vol.2):  Cat 1* (with photo taking): $175  Cat 2 (no photo taking): $141
*Ticket includes a photo taking session with the cast in costume. (Applicable for Weekend show only.)
For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/littlemagsg.
Tickets available through:
SISTIC Website

SISTIC Hotline (65) 6348 5555
SISTIC Authorised Agents islandwide

[Updated 30 Mar ’16]

Winner Announcement

Thanks everybody for taking part in this giveaway.  Congratulations to our winner!  We will be in touch shortly with regards to ticket collection details.

Hanuman


 

 

{Review} Have A Mmehh-ing Great time at SRT’s《三只山羊》The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Last April we had a really fun Rock N Troll time with Singapore Repertory Theatre’s The Billy Goats Gruff (check out our review then). And this year, the SRT has made this highly successful production into a Mandarin one! 《三只山羊》 plays at the KC Arts Centre from 18 Feb to 26 Mar 2016.

The story is similar to last year’s production and is a two thumbs up show. Meet “Baby”, “Middle” and “Big”, the Three Billy Goats Gruff with their forgetful almost silly caretaker, Little Bo-Frilly as they look for grass that always seems greener on the other side, especially now that they are in the middle of a dreadful drought! Together, the gang decide to cross the bridge to the other side of the valley, where lush green grass awaits. Yummy!!! But wait! Hold on a minute! Below the bridge lives a frightening troll that (gulp!) loves to feast on goats (not kids! Phew! no worries haha)… Can they outsmart the monstrous greedy troll?

Billy Main Visual

We’ve always jumped at the opportunity to go for SRT’s Mandarin productions because they are always so well done and really, it’s quite rare to come by many good quality Mandarin plays for children.

Although I was a tad worried that the kids may be bored with the same storyline again, I really was being silly!! I had nothing to fear because as it turned out, it was another amazingly good adaptation yet again by Danny Yeo and Zhang Lesheng. It’s also good for children who’ve been to the English version to watch the Mandarin one since it gives them an idea what to expect already and can better piece together what’s happening onstage if they are less fluent in Mandarin.

With the same familiar catchy music, the play has been cleverly adapted into Mandarin! I found myself jiving to the beat of the catchy music and was really happy to see that K, Wey and R were immediately captivated by the witty Mandarin rap onstage.

Always admire a good Chinese rap!

As with the English version, this wonderful Mandarin adaptation was equally upbeat, witty and funny. We giggled and  laughed as we found out the Mandarin names of the three billy goats gruff – 老大 (Big) ,羊小二 (Middle ~ also a pun for waiter) , 羊MehMeh (羊妹妹 aka Baby) through a cool innovative rap 我是山羊, Meh! Guess which familiar face plays 羊妹妹 to perfection this time… it’s none other than Ann Lek, our heroine Jim in SRT’s Treasure Island!

I loved the play on Chinese words and the puns peppering the conversations throughout because it certainly sparked some interest and reaction from the little ones. When the goats changed 什么都吃 to 什 meh 都吃, Wey turned and said “应该是什么都吃!!不是什meh 都吃!!!” hahaha! Must have been a proud moment for him to be able to correct someone’s Mandarin pronunciation!!??

And who won’t fall in love with dear Little Bo-Frilly, aka 没脑妹 (haha ‘No-brain’ Girl). She was silly but so likeable as she got the little ones to call out to her… “你们好!我是没脑妹!” I couldn’t stop laughing and so did the entire theatre of young ones and parents too… hahaa.

Her singing was brilliant and her timing perfect! She got the audience participation quite effortlessly as she cried out “我的三只山羊跑去哪里了?” Every little one at the theatre shouted with gusto “在那里!” 

The 三只山羊 and 没脑妹 were just so delightful to watch as they danced and sang!

As with the English version, there were a few tensed moments when the 怪物 (Troll) appeared and as the Billy Goats attempted to cross the bridge… But the dear 怪物 was equally funny as he told everyone how he loves to “吃羊肉,爱羊肉..我不吃小孩子, 你们吃太多糖,我吃了会有糖尿病!” haha!! It was hilarious to the parents at least as he introduced his relatives 三姑 and 六婆 who were now cast in stone so he now no longer has to bear with their 三姑六婆 nagging! LOL!!

怪物可爱吗?

I love watching a good quality Mandarin play like《三只山羊》with Wey, because it makes Mandarin an accessible and fun language for the kids through hilarious dialogue, creative storytelling and catchy music!! I’m a super happy mummy today! I saw my rather kan-tang/ banana son really enjoying himself at a Mandarin play. This, after the many years of looking for fun activities in Mandarin, placing him in a full Mandarin preschool for language immersion, Mandarin Drama holiday classes and of course going to all the wonderful SRT Mandarin productions (金发姑娘和三只熊 Goldilocks and the Three Bears, 三只小猪 Three Little Pigs and 丑小鸭 The Ugly Duckling) in the past! haha! Persistence and consistency does pay eventually and I’m promising myself to continue to search for more.

If you don’t believe us, ask this trio if they had more than a great time at 《三只山羊》 today!

What’s new this year is a cool opportunity to have a photo meet and greet session with the cast after the show!


WOW! So book your tickets at SISTIC and get to have a photo session (only with Cat 1 tickets) with the really cute three Billy Goats by professional photographers! You’d be given a nice photograph momento after the session.

Do have fun trippin and trappin to the KC Arts Centre to catch 《三只山羊》because it’s really worth watching! Go and be a-mmehh-zed that Mandarin can be so fun! 🙂

Thanks for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

SAys! Audrey

About 《三只山羊》The Three Billy Goats Gruff

BillM_web

When: 18 Feb to 26 Mar 2016 |  Mon – Fri : 10am |  Sat & Sun: 11am, 2pm |  Fri (25 Mar): 11am

Where: KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT

Who: 5 year olds and above 

(if parents wish to bring their infant-in-arms or children below the age of 5, both parent and child will be required to purchase a ticket.)

Duration: 50 minutes with no interval

Ticket Price (excludes SISTIC charges)

Weekdays
Standard: S$28, S$25 Family Package of 4: S$95 for Cat 1 tickets Family Package of 4 (with TLC CD Vol.2): S$107 for Cat 1 tickets
Weekends (Sat, Sun & Public Holiday)
Standard: S$48, S$38, S$35 Family Package of 4: Cat 1 (with photo taking): $163  Cat 2 (no photo taking): $129 | Family Package of 4 (with TLC CD Vol.2):  Cat 1 (with photo taking): $175  Cat 2 (no photo taking): $141*Ticket includes a photo taking session with the cast in costume.
(Applicable for Weekend show only.)
For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/littlemagsg.
Tickets available through:
SISTIC Website

SISTIC Hotline (65) 6348 5555
SISTIC Authorised Agents islandwide

{Giveaway} SRT’s 三只山羊 The Three Billy Goats Gruff ~ Share to Win a Family Package worth $192

Have you heard that Singapore Repertory Theatre’s The Little Company is staging The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff in Mandarin from 18 February – 26 March 2016?

It was such an enjoyable treat to watch the hugely successful brand new English production of The Three Billy Goats Gruff last year (Read our review here), that the children are really looking forward to watching this play again, but in Mandarin this time. Super Yay!

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I’ve always been on the look out for fun Mandarin activities to engage Wey to spark his interest in the language. Having been to the Mandarin versions of TLC’s 金发姑娘和三只熊 Goldilocks and the Three Bears and 丑小鸭 The Ugly Duckling, I’m pretty sure The Three Billy Goats Gruff will come out making Mandarin an accessible fun language for the kids through hilarious dialogue, creative storytelling and catchy music!!

Meet “Baby”, “Middle” and “Big”, the Three Billy Goats Gruff with their forgetful almost silly caretaker, Little Bo-Frilly as they look for grass that always seems greener on the other side, especially now that they are in the middle of a dreadful drought! Together, the gang decide to cross the bridge to the other side of the valley, where lush green grass awaits. Yummy!!!

But wait! Hold on a minute! Below the bridge lives a frightening troll that (gulp!) loves to feast on goats (not kids! Phew! no worries haha)… Can they outsmart the monstrous greedy troll?

1446635915354

Don’t miss this rare chance to get your little ones immersed in Mandarin whilst having fun.  If you haven’t already gotten tickets yet, do hurry as the last I checked, tickets are selling out fast for weekend shows! You can book at SISTIC http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/billy0416 now.

We’ve got a Family Package of 4 tickets worth $192 to watch The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff《三只山羊》on 27 February 2016, Saturday at 2PM  for Giveaway!

GIVEAWAY : WIN a Family Package of 4 tickets worth $192!

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To take part and qualify, please make sure all the following steps are completed:

1) COMMENT on this blog post stating your Facebook Name and IG Handle (only if you have re-shared on IG for your bonus entry -see below).

2) LIKE SAys! Happy Mums  and  Singapore Repertory Theatre on Facebook.

3) LIKE and SHARE this Facebook post on YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE with the caption “Tag @Friend A Tag @Friend B Tag @Friend C @Friend D @Friend E Share to Win A Family Package to SRT’s The Three Billy Goats Gruff with @SAys! Happy Mums”. DO set your post to PUBLIC so that we are able to verify your entry.

Bonus entry:

  1. Follow us on Instagram {@sayshappymums}
  2. Re-gram this photo on IG and tag @sayshappymums #SRT #TheThreeBillyGoatsGruff + 3 Friends

Terms and Conditions:

  • Giveaway ends 22 February 2016, Monday at 11.59PM.
  • Show date and time is on 27 February 2016, Saturday at 2PM and cannot be changed to a different day or time.
  • The Winner will be notified by the email provided under the blog comments and must reply within 48 hours, failing which, a new winner will be drawn, without notice.
  • Tickets can be collected at the Box Office, 1 hour before the show starts, at the KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT. 
  • This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only.
  • The Sponsor reserves the right to request for a redraw if the drawn winner on our blog has also won tickets to the show from another giveaway.
  • Incomplete entries will be disqualified without notice. Decisions are final and no changes/disputes will be entertained.
  • All information is solely collected for the purpose of this giveaway and we will not send unsolicited emails to your inbox unless you have opted to subscribe to us (on the right!).
  • This giveaway is in no manner associated with any social media accounts except our blog.

Best of luck and get Trippin’ and Trappin’ to SRT soon! Stay tuned to our Winner Announcement and Review post too!

Thanks for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

SAys! Audrey

About 《三只山羊》The Three Billy Goats Gruff

BillM_web

When: 18 Feb to 26 Mar 2016 |  Mon – Fri : 10am |  Sat & Sun: 11am, 2pm |  Fri (25 Mar): 11am

Where: KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT

Who: 5 year olds and above 

(if parents wish to bring their infant-in-arms or children below the age of 5, both parent and child will be required to purchase a ticket.)

Duration: 50 minutes with no interval

Ticket Price (excludes SISTIC charges)

Weekdays
Standard: S$28, S$25 Family Package of 4: S$95 for Cat 1 tickets Family Package of 4 (with TLC CD Vol.2): S$107 for Cat 1 tickets
Weekends (Sat, Sun & Public Holiday)
Standard: S$48, S$38, S$35 Family Package of 4: Cat 1 (with photo taking): $163  Cat 2 (no photo taking): $129 | Family Package of 4 (with TLC CD Vol.2):  Cat 1 (with photo taking): $175  Cat 2 (no photo taking): $141*Ticket includes a photo taking session with the cast in costume.
(Applicable for Weekend show only.)
For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/littlemagsg.
Tickets available through:
SISTIC Website

SISTIC Hotline (65) 6348 5555
SISTIC Authorised Agents islandwide

[Updated 24 Feb ’16]

Thanks everybody for taking part in this giveaway.  Congratulations to our winner!  We will be in touch shortly with regards to ticket collection details.
The Three Billy Goats Gruff

{Review} Ahoy Mateys! It’s Pirates’ Treasure at SRT’s Treasure Island

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.

Treasure Island

Finally reading independently and enjoying a new story, Treasure Island, on his own.

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!

SRT Treasure Island

Guessing whose costumes are they? Now we know the blue coat was for Captain Smollett and the moss green one will be worn by Long John Silver! Now look at them pirate swords!!!

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 Treasure Islnad

While Mummy smiles, the little one is trying his best to make a pirate’s angry face! Arggh!

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!

treasure island find map

Squire Trelawny and Captain Smollett examining the treasure map with young Jim! Just look at their faces! haha!

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.

Treasure Island

At last on board the Hispaniola in search of adventure and Captain Flint’s Treasure Island.

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.

treasure island ben gunn

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.

SRT Treasure Island

Ben Gunn and her coconut friends inject fun and cheer in Treasure Island

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!

Thank you for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

SAys! Audrey 🙂

About Treasure Island

SRT Treasure Island

When :  Fri, 30 Oct – Sun, 29 Nov 2015
Time :  Mon – Fri : 10am    Tue(11 Nov):11am   Sat & Sun : 11am, 2.30pm
Duration: ~Approximately 90 minutes (15 minutes interval)
Tickets available through:
SISTIC Website Book now at http://sistic.com.sg/events/island1215

SISTIC Hotline (65) 6348 5555
SISTIC Authorised Agents islandwide
Ticket Pricing (Excludes Booking Fee)
Weekdays (Tue – Fri)
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.