El and I arrived at the theatre 15 minutes before the play, “Tales of the Frog Prince” started, so we slowly made our way up to the circle seats. When I was booking the seats, mine were the last two seats together. I took a child booster seat, and so El could see the stage very well. Some of the expat children were so prepared, they came with blankets and pillows. Coincidentally, I was seated at the same place the last month I was there for “Everything but the brain”, a play about a physics teacher and her father who suffered from a series of strokes.
Now, El is a very inquisitive child, and he would ask a lot of questions. This was the first time he was watching a play in a theatre. When he saw the stage, he asked where the evil witch was. I had earlier told him in the car that an evil witch had turned a prince into a frog. Throughout the whole play, he kept asking loudly where the evil witch was. I had to tell him that the witch had cast the spell a long time ago, so she was not there. Apparently, whatever answers I could think of were not satisfactory enough. They mentioned the witch a few times in the play.
I was glad I did not tell him about the original story about the princess and the golden ball. If not, he would be repeatedly asking where the golden ball was, as this play had deviated from the original story.
Next, he asked when they were going to start. I told him that there was dry ice, and it meant it was going to start soon. People were still streaming in. Again, I was glad that I had reached the place 15 minutes earlier, and not 30 minutes. If not, he would be badgering me the entire time.
He had spotted somebody lying in the middle of the stage, so he pointed that out. We were a little confused, as it was an elf or something, but as he was dressed in green, we thought that he was the frog prince. It started off well. The songs were quite catchy. The frog prince was dashing, and he sang very well. Some songs about hopping and scratching were quite nice and easy to sing along.
The story was quite different, with many new characters, such as the princess being considered a little strange by the family. She saw the frog prince playing with the elf, and followed them. I like the interaction part, as they asked the children to play along. The royal family then arrived. The king was a henpecked man, but I had forgotten to ask whether El understood that. There was another princess, who was the sister, and a prince from elsewhere. The queen was a tyrant. The tap dancing was interesting, and then there was some saucy fun, but not too titillating for young children.
About 35 minutes into the play, El suddenly declared very loudly that he wanted to leave. They were spending a little too much time on the unrequited love and misplaced love between the first princess and the frog prince, and I thought that it was slightly slow in pace at that time, but El was extremely bored by it. The theme was probably not that suitable for him. Thank goodness they settled that, and the team broke into a song and dance again in the last ten minutes.
Apart from the very loud questions, which I tried to quieten him down, he was actually quite well-behaved. He laughed at the appropriate funny parts, and was seated properly, except for that lull where he deliberately slid down his booster chair. However, I did not quite understand him when he said there were many frogs on the stage right at the end.
At the concessionary stand, he spotted Ribena, and asked for it. Then he spotted Yan Yan, and kept repeating it until I could not stand it and bought him one. I bought the CD, hoping to have the songs, but it turned out to be songs from other plays, such as 1-2-3 Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the 3 bears. The songs were pleasant to listen to on the way home. They were offering Red Riding Hood at 15% discount if we showed our ticket stubs, but I have not decided on it.
Anyway, it was a great first time experience for him. When I asked him whether he enjoyed the play, he smiled and said yes. The run ends on 29 September 2013.