Thursday, August 25, 2016

Three lessons from the Three Little Pigs

The three boys and I went to watch "The Three Little Pigs" over the weekend. I think the musical needs no introduction, since it's been shared and reviewed by many others (you can read this one for a more details, as well as useful tips). The show is an adaptation of the classic fairy tale, with songs and lots of local flavour thrown in. Produced by the Singapore Repertory Theatre's The Little Company, the show was a throughly enjoyable experience! 

The kids really loved the show, and it's not hard to see why. The songs were catchy, and had us tapping our feet and humming along (this is the first time our kids have watched it, and I've been hearing them sing certain refrains at home). There was so much humour and local flavour injected in, from the names of the little pigs (Cha, Siu and Bao), to the use of local terms ("So malu!", "Lim Kopi" etc), which had us laughing through the entire show. 

While recommended for children three and above, the show was witty enough to keep even the adults entertained, yet wasn't too overstimulating for the senses. I admit that I tend to get headaches after attending children's productions from all the noise and sensory overload, but I didn't in this case, and really enjoyed it. 

The acting was great too, and the performance put up by all four pigs (Andrew Lua as Cha, Ethel Yap as Siu, Benedict Hew as Bao, and Candice de Rozario as Mother Pig) was stellar. Ivan Chan was simply fantastic playing the Wolf, and he really engaged with the audience and literally had us howling with laughter! (However, his appearance did scare some of the very young ones in the audience, and Small J ended up in my lap for half the show, but hey, he's supposed to be the Big Bad Wolf right?) 

However, good acting and funny script aside, I think what I most appreciated about the show were the little lessons that we could glean from it (and discuss with the kids after the show), that:

:: Family always sticks together: 
Throughout the show, you see the three little pigs squabbling and teasing each other. You see the classic "older brother trying to annoy the little brother" scene being played out (I gasped seeing Cha use his arm to hook Bao's neck, because that was such a familiar sight in my home with the boys!), and two older pigs are always teasing Bao for reading too much. But when trouble comes, you see the pigs helping each other, and that is what saves their skins in the end. Mother Pig also drives home the point, always reminding her three offspring to stick together as family. I think the boys could identify with the three pigs (poor Small J is always crying because his older brothers tease him so!), and I loved the reminder that even despite all these sibling conflicts, we can always count on family no matter what.  

:: Being kind pays off, even though it may seem counter-intuitive:
In the entire show, we have the three pigs trying to escape from the Wolf, but there was no talk about revenge (as their father was previously eaten by the wolf) or trying to get back at the wolf. In fact, the pigs were actually kind to the Wolf, offering him a handkerchief to blow his nose, after he was sneezing from blowing down Siu's house of straw, and warning him not to come down the chimney because he would burn himself! (But it turned out to be reverse psychology, since the Wolf assumed they were bluffing.) I thought that was a good reminder to always be kind. (And no, being kind is not equivalent to being a doormat. After all, the pigs did their utmost to protect themselves!)

:: We are all unique, with our own strengths and weaknesses:
Bao was incessantly teased for being a bookworm, but it was his brains that saved the day. The three little pigs were so different in character and temperament, yet we saw how they worked together and complemented each other in the family. It reminded me about my own three little boys, and how unique each of them were. I admit I sometimes have difficulty grasping how different they are, and I am tempted to use the same methods to teach and train each child (for example, I recently discovered how the boys approach learning to read in different ways). Watching the three pigs work on their houses was a reminder that every child is different, and these differences are to be celebrated, though they definitely keep parents on their toes!

All in all, "The Three Little Pigs" is entertaining and funny, and also goes beyond punny remarks to teach some valuable lessons. It's a musical, with morals thrown in. I'd say it's a must watch, if you've not caught it with your kids! 

Showtime details are as follows, and you can book your tickets HERE:

Dates: 4th August to 17th September
Times: Weekdays (10 am), weekends and public holidays (11 am and 2 pm)
Venue: KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT (20 Merbau Road, S239035)

Disclaimer: We received tickets to watch "The Three Little Pigs" for purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions (and those three little boys) are my own. 

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