Saturday, November 9, 2013

Hello Adam: Interactive Theatre for Children @ The Esplanade

Impressed by outcome of a recent visit to the Esplanade to watch Hello Ling (click HERE), Daddy brought the girls out for the next installment of this PLAYtime! series of interactive theatre shows for children aged two to four entitled Hello Adam.

Checking out the poster at the Esplanade!

They alighted at Esplanade MRT station and walked through City Link Mall to reach the Recital Studios just in time for the 11am show on a weekend morning. Our experience with Hello Ling helped them to find the place quickly, and they got into the queue after picking up the Hello Adam mask and entry stickers.  Outside the studio was a booth selling Hello Adam activity booklets, and a poster to go online for more show-related activities.

Activity books for sale.

The kids received Hello Adam masks and entry stickers.

Online activities on their website.

Inside the studio, there was already a crowd, and the girls weaved their way to a spot on the floor just in front of the stage big enough for only the two of them, leaving Daddy no choice but to watch a couple of metres behind the already seated audience. Like the previous installments, the studio was arranged with the stage in the centre and the audience seated 360 degrees on the carpeted floor around it. At four corners were giant building blocks, in line with the theme of 'movement'. Hello Adam is set in an imaginary playground where he explores action verbs that have to do with play.

The studio was transformed into a giant playground with over-sized toys!

Adam engages the kids in a game of toss and catch.

Inviting the kids to participate, Adam warms up to the crowd with his friendly yet playful demeanor.

The show began with Adam introducing some of the toys in his playground. He is alone, that is until a magical spell brings alive three very energetic characters who will take the children through the story.

Tossing a giant building block into the air!

Energetic moves to get the children all excited...

K's reaction to their dramatic entrances!

The performance was full of opportunities for the children to sing along, dance, and get up and move. And participate they did! When it comes to getting off their bottoms and into the action, children do it best. Some of the younger ones were so enthusiastic they had to be carried off the stage by their parents! Yet, the actors simply played along with the 'unplanned disruptions', obviously enjoying themselves in the process.

The scenes managed to keep the kids on their feet for most of the show.

The characters build a giant playground using the building block... it's time for hide and seek!

"Where is she?"

"Three, two, one... here I come!"

Fun with a giant slinky!

To the left...

Sneaking up on each other!

The reaction of the crowd to the hilarious antics of the actors.

Now everyone gets into a slinky for the... slinky dance!

Jumping out!

Sing, dance, and clap along!

Introducing the word 'throw'!

"Throw"and "catch"!

The music slows into a reflective calm as the actresses perform a beautifully choreographed dance, twisting and turning, spinning around...

The reflective mood continues and very creatively, a large sheet is used to introduce the word 'float' in what appears to be a mighty creative combination of light, sound and gracefulness.

... a beautiful red...

The large sheet produces a mystical aura of light that falls gently on all the audience,...

The floating sheet comes down on some of the more enthusiastic participants that have gotten too close to the stage.

Introducing the verb 'bounce'!

A variety of scenes engaged the audience.

At the end of the show, there was a surprise 'free for all' when hundreds of small plastic play balls were released onto the floor. The children rushed forward, and before you know it, there were balls flying everywhere! Our girls joined in the fun and begged Daddy to let them take some home. In the end, the children and parents helped to gather up the balls and return them to designated containers. What a way to teach them to clean up after you play.

The studio was turned into an impromptu ball pool!

Putting away the balls for the next performance.

The show lasted for 45 minutes, appropriate for the attention span of the targeted audience. After the show, it was time for lunch, but the trio stopped by the Toastbox outlet for a couple of traditional toasts, before heading home. This reminds me of why the Esplanade remains one of our family favourites. Differentiating itself from many of the other world-class performance venues around the world, the Esplanade has established itself as a place where art reaches out to people of all walks of life. Many of the performances are free, and instead of waiting for an audience to buy tickets, art is staring you in the face at every turn, corner, and walkway! There are no dress codes. Even if your intention was to simply sit down at a cafe for a drink, or do some window shopping, or get out of the hot weather outside, the integrated mall will ensure art will touch you as you pass through.

Traditional butter-sugar toast.

Hello Adam was staged from 3 to 9 November. The next installment of the PLAYtime! series is Hello Yasmin in February 2014. To find out more about the PLAYtime! series of activities for children at the Esplanade, do check out their Facebook page (click HERE) or their website (click HERE).

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