This morning, my toddler and I returned to Esplanade—Theatres on the Bay for Let’s Play Pretend, a PLAYtime! production.
PLAYtime!, is an interactive theatre series for children aged two to four. Earlier this year, we saw Hello Yasmin directed by Ian Loy with music by Stan X Soap. Let’s Play Pretend, too, was directed by Loy, and, like Hello Yasmin, featured memorable, toe-tapping music and excellent acting, especially by Rizman Putra, who played multiple roles. Let’s Play Pretend‘s strength was its colorful, interactive, multimedia set, meant to be evocative of “any given HDB flat” and the city’s gorgeous concrete mosaic playgrounds.
But unlike Hello Yasmin, Let’s Play Pretend did not have a strong narrative, largely because, I think, the subject matter—the story of three friends who, home alone, play pretend—does not lend itself to one. The production leapt from song to song, scene to scene, with little narrative transition, and both my child and I found it, in parts, difficult to follow.
Let’s Play Pretend uses a smattering of Singlish. I only mention this because I know parents who bristle at the use of this English variant in “educational” settings. I thought it was endearing and very character-driven. I, rather, found the character Pong’s occasional “baby talk” jarring, especially in an “educational” setting! We have never used that sort of language at home, for a variety of language-aquisition and literacy reasons.
Still, Let’s Play Pretend was a wonderfully entertaining way to spend a Friday morning! The production closes on May 15. Weekday performances are at 9:30AM and 11AM. Weekend performances are at 11AM, 2PM, and 4PM.