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Theatre Review (Singapore): ‘Jack and the Bean Sprout’ by Wild Rice

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Wild Rice’s annual pantomime runs at the Drama Centre from the November 21 to December 14, 2013. This year, it’s the company’s take on “Jack and the Beanstalk”, with the common Tougeh taking over the “role” of the beanstalk.JBS 7

Jack and the Bean Sprout (Tougeh) tells the tale of dim witted Jack (Caleb Goh) who’s manipulated into accepting beans for his cow (or dog, we’re not too sure!). Meanwhile his mother (Darius Tan) has loan sharks to pay off and a gambling addiction to fight, as Jack himself discovers love with an alien being (Ethel Yap).

Written by Joel Tan and directed by Ivan Heng, the show is not as funny as last year’s offering of Hansel & Gretel, but the jokes and gags are still aplenty and will surely keep the young ones and families entertained. Rarely do you find a show that appeals to all ages, and this production is one such performance made to appeal to everyone in the family.JBS 3

The highlight of the production, as with other Wild Rice pantos, is the music, once again composed by Elaine Chan with lyrics by Joel Tan. The songs are very catchy with upbeat and lively melodies. The singing overall is good, and Ethel Yap stands out for me as the alien-love interest with her crystal-clear voice and sweet tone.JBS 5

Darius Tan also performs well with his smooth vocals and good comedic timing, whilst Karen Tan and Siti Khalijah Zainal bring more zany fun to the show by capably playing the villains who turn into a Golden Hits Harp and a Goose Mangat respectively.

Despite one or two jokes being too racy for little kids, Jack and the Bean Sprout is certainly a quality family-oriented production that will appeal to the masses, as most of the dialogue is in Singlish, which brings along its own humour to an already funny show.

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About Sharmila Melissa Yogalingam

Ex-professor, Ex-phd student, current freelance critic, writer and filmmaker.