Fantasy characters bring joy to kids' wards

For the past week, Janis Katrina Norhisham, 13, has been stuck in a hospital bed at a paediatric ward in National University Hospital (NUH) with high fever.

She misses her friends who are at school in Johor Baru where the Singaporean, a resident of Bukit Panjang, is studying.

But yesterday, Janis was all smiles after Superguy from Pulau Ubin and Princess Stella of Sentosa visited her and 25 other children in NUH's paediatric wards.

The pair are characters in theatre company Sing'theatre's inaugural showing of its 10-minute production - Sing Me A Story @ NUH - which started yesterday and will run till December.

Played by the sprightly Thomas James Taylor, 25, Superguy transformed the hospital ward into a fairy-tale setting. Using a surgical table as a magical carpet, he painted images of Sentosa as a fantasy kingdom where Superguy tries to woo Princess Stella while discovering his own powers.

He said it was a rewarding experience to be able to help the children forget about their medical situation, even for a while.

The interactive musical theatre production will be running weekly in four wards with child patients at a time, in an effort to bring cheer to patients, parents and hospital staff. NUH engages Sing'theatre as a volunteer group.

The venture, with others such as Silver Connection, a volunteer programme focusing on the elderly, is part of NUH's expanding efforts to enrich its patients' stays.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2017, with the headline 'Fantasy characters bring joy to kids' wards'. Print Edition | Subscribe