Acting with son a 'magical' experience for theatre veteran

Anchoring the skit are actors (from left) R. Chandran, 60, Shadrach Yankaya (back facing), nine, Bryan Cheong (on wheelchair), 10, Jivan Wei Ramachandran, eight, and Nyla Esman, 11. Their skit called on Singaporeans to ponder about their hopes and dr
Anchoring the skit are actors (from left) R. Chandran, 60, Shadrach Yankaya (back facing), nine, Bryan Cheong (on wheelchair), 10, Jivan Wei Ramachandran, eight, and Nyla Esman, 11. Their skit called on Singaporeans to ponder about their hopes and dreams for the country's future.

For veteran actor R. Chandran, this year's National Day Parade was special in more ways than one.

He not only performed in front of a large crowd of more than 50,000, but also did so for the first time with his eight-year-old son.

"As a performer, you want your children to see you performing on stage... But to perform with your child on a stage, especially a stage as huge as this, I think it's really magical. It's an experience that is not easy to come by," he said.

Both Mr Chandran, 60, and his son Jivan Wei Ramachandran yesterday acted in a skit about Singapore's past, present and future.

Mr Chandran played a grandfather while his son was one of four children who spoke about their dreams.

The skit started with the grandfather telling the children of a letter he wrote to them outlining his dreams and wishes for Singapore when the nation turns 100 in 2065. As he narrated, different scenes of Singapore's past, present and future were fleshed out by actors.

The children, who also included 10-year-old Bryan Cheong from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore, shared their dreams such as becoming a singer or policeman.

Asked about his dream for Singapore, Mr Chandran, who is also the director of Act 3 Theatrics, said: "For me, to be together... I think that's the most important thing.

"Working together so we can share the journey instead of looking for differences... Even a child in a wheelchair has special abilities. It's how to see the strength in it."

Asked about how he felt performing with his father, Jivan, a Primary 2 pupil at Fairfield Methodist School (Primary), said: "It's nice because not many people get to do this."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2016, with the headline 'Acting with son a 'magical' experience for theatre veteran'. Print Edition | Subscribe