TGC Review : KOKO THE GREAT

Esplanade Presents Playtime!

Walk into the wonderful world of KOKO THE GREAT


Did you know – Esplanade not only caters to the adults, but also to little learners too! From Jaclyn – “Personally, I only got to know in 2016 when I brought my little learner to catch Grandpa Cherry Blossom and he absolutely loved the show!”

Which is why, Today Got Class is personally excited to announce our latest partnership with Esplanade Pip’s Club – PIP believes in learning through play and playing to learn. Which is what Today Got Class is about too – learn and play!

Come August 2017, our friends at Esplanade will be launching a brand new production – alive with colours, friendly animal puppets, sing-alongs, dance-alongs, surprises and more! Our 2 TGC mums recently attended the media preview of KOKO THE GREAT and both mum + kids absolutely loved the show! Check out what they have to say below.

Koko the Great runs from 11 to 27 August. 

TGC GIVEAWAY : Book any class by 18 August and win a pair of tickets worth $40. 2 pairs of tickets to be won! 


TGC Mummy Emma, founder of local fashion brand Vespertine & mum of 3 year old Saskia

Saskia my tireless 3 year old and I attended the media preview for Koko the Great at the Theatre Studio @Esplanade. Koko the great is a book by Nathalie Hennedige inspired by Liu Kang’s “Life by the river”, made into a musical play.

The story is about a boy named Koko who wonders and wanders beyond the river in the search of giants, armed with a cooking pot as a helmet and a ladle as a sword.

Saskia generally loves plays and particularly music performances but she’s pretty straightforward about her likes and dislikes. This play was a hit, for her and for me, and the emotional print still lingers days after.

The performers were charismatic, mise en scène top notch and dialogues nicely balanced.
My special thumbs up goes to the musical portion, catchy tunes go a long way for young kiddos, and the singing performance adds on to the magic..

We both loved every bit of it, and I can bet most kids will too!

Meet our TGC mummy and little learner – Emma, founder of local brand Vespertine and her 3 year old Saskia



TGC Mummy Jamie, bibimbubs.com & mum of 2 year old Elise

[This review first appeared on Bibimbubs.com]

We were invited by Today Got Class and Esplanade Pip’s Club to the preview of Koko the Great, a theatre production held in conjunction with the Children’s Biennale organised by the National Gallery. It was Elise’s first time watching a theatrical production. I wondered if it would be too abstract for her to understand but as we sat on the floor, she kept her gaze onto the set while I pointed out the items she knew (dog, duck, balls, tree, cloud, boat).

The 40-minute play was full of movement and sound. Patchwork props and puppets, singing and music brought the scenes to life. Koko dreams big; he imagines a small flower, tiny fish and an infant to be gigantic and enormous, to which the villagers mock. The audience is taught the movements to the song which they can follow along. Elise was a bit too young to catch all the moves.

Before Koko embarks on his adventure, we’re shown how a typical morning in the kampong is like, with egg-laying hens, dogs and ducks taking baths and Koko the kampong boy, bored of the same old village routine. As soon as his mother goes out, off he goes!

Probably knowing that children lose focus easily, there is a segment where the audience is invited to help Yellow Duck, Purple Dog and Koko sort out foam fish with patterns from the nets into baskets. It took a bit of prodding for Elise to go up and sort the fishes, but the rest of the children did so with ease. It seems that now she is a bit older, she’s developed some kind of wariness against strangers.

In this part of the play, Koko meets a menacing tree – the Green Giant, who warns him that he would not be able to go back home.

The show ends with Koko’s mother returning and rewarding him with a giant popsicle. The story line is simple enough for children to follow without needing explanation from the adults.

Watching the production from the floor, I couldn’t help but notice beads of perspiration forming on the actors’ faces. It must have been warm under the spotlight, but they put in their best efforts despite the heat. Local theatre is much underappreciated and I’m glad Elise was given the chance to watch art in a form she has not seen before. Children benefit from exposure to theatre arts as it stimulates their imagination – “that looks like a baby, why is it so large? Why doesn’t it have a face? Why is that man wearing a duck hat and acting like a duck?” which in turn makes them question and look for answers, much better than rote-learning and memorisation.

I don’t usually pay much attention to theatre and art. At the museums, I prefer the interactive exhibits over abstract paintings. Hence, this theatre play was something new for the both of us.

 

 


After the play ended, we grabbed some lunch and popped by Pip’s Playbox, a relatively quiet space for children to play safely (with free admission!). There are train tracks with trains, magnetic wooden building blocks, a two-storey house and nooks and crannies to chill with a book. There’s also a corner for arts and craft. The place is sanitised daily between 2 to 3pm. One thing I like about this place is that the toys stocked are open-ended and children can build whatever they want according to their creativity. No electronic toys or screens but lots of hidey holes and cabinets which open up to reveal colourful murals.

Over here, children have to take responsibility for keeping the toys back in their proper receptacles before leaving.

The place opens till 6pm, but we left earlier to avoid the peak hour train rush. We’re making the most of the remaining time we have with Elise as the only kid, so despite my huge bump, I’m determined to bring her out as much as possible until didi comes in and steals the show.

About the Author

Lydia & Jaclyn
Author with 42 posts
More about Lydia & Jaclyn

Lydia and Jaclyn are the Chief Mums of Today Got Class. As mothers of 3 young sons aged 5, 8 and 10 years respectively, we believe that enrichment classes are necessary for our children to pick up complementary skills to help them hone their learning and development capabilities. "Learn to play, play to learn" is our parenting motto.

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Lydia & Jaclyn + our 3 boys

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