On Tuesday, The Preschooler and I caught The Three Billy Goats Gruff, a “rock ‘n’ roll troll” musical theatre production and retelling of the beloved Norwegian fairy tale, by The Little Company, a division of The Singapore Repertory Theatre. This production, with music by George Stiles and lyrics by Anthony Drewe, is the third “Stiles and Drew” production that Singapore Repertory Theatre has commissioned, following The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and The Three Bears.
After the performance, I asked The Preschooler, “Who was your favorite character?”
“THE TROLL!” she replied.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because he was SCARY!” she said, complete with troll-like arm gestures.
That he was! Benjamin Chow’s “Troll” stole the show, as it were. The actor/musician/spoken word artist has a brilliant singing voice, one that reverberated through the entire theatre. Equally energetic, though less captivating than Chow, was Cheryl Tan as “Little Bo Frilly.” I didn’t care much for Tan as “Pengy the Penguin” in Junior Claus, but in The Three Billy Goats Gruff, her silliness and physicality shine.
The play featured humor and local popular and cultural references to make parents smile, such as a references to ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) and the Night Safari. Stiles’ score was eminently hummable and well-choreographed (by Ewan Jone), save for a hip-hop-inspired opening number. And, as always, The Little Company’s production and lighting design, by Francis O’Connor and Gabriel Chan respectively, enchanted.
The Three Billy Goats Gruff runs through on May 10. Weekday performances are at 10AM and 2PM (selected days). Weekend performances are at 11AM and 2PM.
(Additional credits: Thank you to The Singapore Repertory Theatre for the comp tickets!)