We had an early play to catch today! We slept early last night so that we could wake early this morning! We walked to and arrived at the Alliance Francaise de Singapour with enough time for Little E to finish her breakfast before we entered the theatre.
While we were waiting, buses full of school children streamed into the complex in snaking queues.
The Way Back Home is an award winning children’s book written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, one of the world’s most popular children’s authors. Presented by Big Wooden Horse and Theatre Royal Winchester and adapted for stage by Adam Bampton-Smith, the interesting book was brought to life on stage in Singapore by I-Theater.
The Way Back Home is an inter-galactic tale about a little boy seeking adventure. The Boy who is the main character of this little tale finds an aeroplane in his cupboard one day, takes it for a spin and crash-lands on the moon; similarly stranded there, is a weird but friendly green-faced Martian, whom he befriends; they brainstormed and helped each other to find their way back to their respective homes.
The 50-minute play had many charming elements, despite the fact that it is helmed by a two-person-only cast. With an earnest retelling (or plentiful singing) of the story, the production did incorporate lots of audience interaction which livened up the show and formed lasting impressions in the unfolding of the story for the young children (as well as adults) who were present.
This whimsical play was carried out in a bedroom setting where the talented casts sparked off an adventure of imaginary and pretend-play moments with their main props, including a bright red aeroplane with a whirling propeller, a glittery silver flying saucer and floating balloon clouds. It very much demonstrated the element of ‘play’ to little children and showed them how they can use imagination to create any story they want.
Furthermore, this awesome play was not just about creative imaginary play, it was also a reflection of the essence of friendship as well as farewell. I believe little ones will find it comforting to know they do not need to overcome problems all by themselves and be alone in times of trouble; and that every being (or alien) has to return to where they belong [which reminds me of the Chinese proverb “天下无不散之宴席”].
The play invites the audience to embark on a quest together with the two friends to find petrol and tools to fix their aircrafts. While much of the humour, both verbal and visual, pass with a blink-and-you-missed-it rapidity, the young audience did catch on and laughed along at the antics of the 2 characters on many occasions, including Little E, who had her full attention fixated on the live stage-play for the entire 50 minutes, despite the fact that the production was suited beyond her age.
In our 2 yo’s life now, we continually engage her in pretend-play situations and dialogues which we find helped her speech and language develop in leaps and bounds. Besides, make-believe is a way for young children to test limits and boundaries, seek and explore new worlds, and foster and forge friendships. We were very thankful we chanced upon this successful whimsical production, which aptly rests on the amazing magic of imaginary play.
The play ended with the characters finding their way home just about the same time I was ready to embark on the same journey with my toddler, with the exceptional enrichment provided by the magical experience we gained from live theatre. The feeling was marvellous!
Nonetheless, instead of going home straight after the play, as it was still early, we walked further down towards Scotts Road, allowing Little E to have fun and enjoy herself as much as she wanted.
Life is good as a preschooler. 😀