12 children's theatre events to check out

Turn off the TV, ditch the iPad. A dozen children's theatre shows and festivals are popping up over the next six months, using the magic of live performance to fire young minds. Here is the lowdown on what they are about.

Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus!

What: It’s a battle of wits as the feathered fowl tries to outsmart the bus driver to get behind the wheel. This adaptation of Mo Willems’ children’s tale is presented by I Theatre and Britain’s Big Wooden Horse Theatre Company.

When: Till Sept 28, Tuesday to Friday, 10am and 2pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10.30am and 2pm

Where: Alliance Française Theatre, 1 Sarkies Road

Age: Two to eight years

How much: $30 a person, $114 for family package for four persons, $135 for family package for five

Info: www.itheatre.org or www.facebook.com/ ITheatre

Watch trailer here 

The Nightingale (Mandarin)

What: Following a successful English-language run by Singapore Repertory Theatre’s The Little Company, this adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen classic returns in Mandarin, complete with a toe-tapping pop and hip-hop score, as well as lessons about friendship and acceptance.

When: Till Oct 11, Tuesday to Friday, 10am; Saturday and Sunday, 11am and 2pm

Where: DBS Arts Centre, 20 Merbau Road

Age: Two to six years

How much: $22 or $25 per person on weekdays, $32 or $35 per person on weekends and public holidays. $85 to $131 for family package for four

Info: www.srt.com.sg or www.facebook.com/singaporerepertorytheatre

The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favourites

What: This returning favourite presents three stories from celebrated children’s author Eric Carle, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar. By Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, Canada, and Act 3 International. The use of black light theatre brings the vibrant colours of the books to life.

When: Sept 27 to Oct 5, Monday, 10am and 2pm; Wednesday and Thursday, 10am; Saturday, 10.30am, 2pm and 4pm; Friday and Sunday, 10.30am and 4pm.

Where: Drama Centre Theatre, 100 Victoria Street, Level 3 National Library Building

Age: Three to six years

How much: $25 to $28 per person on weekdays, $32 to $35 per person on weekends. $109 to $119 for family package for four.

Info: www.act3international.com.sg

Octoburst!

What: The 11th edition of this festival of arts and culture for children returns with shows such as Something Very Far Away by Britain’s Unicorn Theatre, which deals with issues of loss and love. Also catch a variety of non-ticketed shows such as The Fat Emperor by the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Arts & Cultural Troupe. The Mandarin production is about a rotund emperor who has to go on a diet.

When: Oct 3 to 6 (various timings)

Where: Esplanade - Theatres by the Bay, 1 Esplanade Drive

Age: two to 12 years (varies according to show)

How much: $10 to $28. Most are free

Info: www.esplanade.com/octoburst/2014/

Stick Man

What: Separated from his family tree while out on a jog, Stick Man goes on an unexpected adventure which sees him being used as a flag mast, a cricket bat and even firewood. This story by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler cycles through the seasons and culminates in a Yuletide reunion.

When: Oct 9 to 12, Thursday and Friday, 5pm; Saturday and Sunday, 11am, 2pm and 4.30pm.

Where: School of the Arts Drama Theatre, 1 Zubir Said Drive

Age: Three years and above

How much: $42 to $62

Info: www.aba-productions.com

Hairy Maclary And Friends

What: Follow furry protagonist Hairy Maclary as he embarks on adventures with fellow canines such as dalmation Bottomley Potts and dachshund Schnitzel von Krumm. Based on the children’s books by Lynley Dodd, this official stage adaptation was performed at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

When: Oct 10 to 12, Friday, 5pm; Saturday and Sunday, 11am, 2pm and 4.30pm.

Where: Drama Centre Theatre, 100 Victoria Street, Level 3 National Library Building

Age: Two years and above

How much: $35 to $62

Info: www.aba-productions.com

Hop and Honk - The Ugly Duckling And The Frog Prince

What: Written by I Theatre’s Brian Seward, this musical imagines a world in which the two fairytale characters set out together to discover themselves and find acceptance.

When: Oct 29 to Nov 15, Tuesday to Friday, 10am and 2pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10.30am, 11am and 2pm.

Where: Drama Centre Theatre, 100 Victoria Street, Level 3 National Library Building

Age: Four to 18 years and families

How much: $30 to 32 for adult, $114 to $121.60 for family package for four, $135 to $144 for family package for five

Info: www.itheatre.org/ or www.facebook.com/ITheatre

Junior Claus

What: After Santa falls into a deep sleep, his son Junior and his friends Pengy the penguin and Chipper the elf have to battle a villain in order to save Christmas. This merry musical is written by Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond and presented by Singapore Repetory Theatre’s The Little Company.

When: Oct 31 to Dec 14, Monday to Friday, 10am; Saturday and Sunday, 11am and 2.30pm.

Where: DBS Arts Centre, 20 Merbau Road

Age: Five years and above

How much: $32 or $35 per person on weekdays, $42 or $45 per person on weekends, $119 to $165 for family package for four

Info: www.srt.com.sg or www.facebook.com/singaporerepertorytheatre

Once Upon a Peacock's Tail

What: This English-language production, commissioned for Kalaa Utsavam, Esplanade’s Indian Festival of Arts, tells the story of how a peacock gets its beautiful markings. Based on a Rajasthani folk tale, it combines narration with music, dance and live drawing.

When: Nov 22, 11am, 2 and 5pm

Where: Esplanade Recital Studio, Esplanade – Theatres by the Bay, 1 Esplanade Drive

Age: Four to eight years

How much: $15 per person; $25 for a pair of one parent and one child (below 12 years old)

Info: www.kalaautsavam.com/2014

Disney Live! Presents Three Classic Fairy Tales

What: Produced by Feld Entertainment, this crossover tale sees Mickey and Minnie enter the world of fairytale classics like Beauty And The Beast and Cinderella. Expect to sing along to familiar tunes such as Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo and Be Our Guest.

When: Nov 22 to 30, Saturday and Sunday (Nov 30) 11am, 3pm and 6.30pm; Wednesday to Friday and Sunday (Nov 23) 3pm and 6.30pm.

Where: MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue

Age: Five years and below

How much: $35 to $120

Info: www.marinabaysands.com/ticketing

Peter Pan, The Never Ending Story

What: It is the classic J.M. Barrie tale of the boy who never grows up, magnified with swashbuckling action, visual effects, stunts and a soundtrack of pop tunes by Matt Dunkley, the man behind the music of Hollywood hits such as Pirates Of The Caribbean and Moulin Rouge.

When: Nov 27 to Jan 20, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8pm; Saturday and Sunday, 3 and 8pm.

Where: Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway

Age: Four years and above

How much: $58 to $168

Info: www.rwsentosa.com

KidsFest

What: The festival, presented by ABA Productions, brings together eight theatre productions from countries like Australia and Britain over five weeks. The line-up includes Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo, an Australian production that uses large dinosaur puppets to deliver educational nuggets about the prehistoric creatures; and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, a show for the younger ones that brings the Judith Kerr book of the same name to the stage.

When: Jan 21 to Mar 1 next year (various timings)

Where: School of the Arts Drama Theatre, 1 Zubir Said Drive

Age: Three years and above (varies according to show)

How much: $42 to $62 per person

Info: www.kidsfest.com.sg/ or www.facebook.com/Kidsfestsingapore