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If you have ever wanted to interact with storybook characters such as Snow White or Ali Baba, you now have the chance to meet not one, not two, but 22 characters at 22 Stories, a multi-room theatrical production by theatre company Andsoforth Junior, which specialises in family productions.
The characters will be stationed in 22 themed rooms spread out across four sections – Grimmsneyland, Storyland, Land Of Nights and Wonderland – that are based on classic stories.
For instance, Land of Nights takes inspiration from the Middle Eastern collection of folk tales One Thousand And One Nights, while Storyland is a fresh take on nursery stories such as The Ugly Duckling. Each room will house a character who will entertain audiences with original tales that last about six minutes.
Creative director of Andsoforth Junior Stuart Wee, 32, says the concept was inspired by multi-room experiences he encountered with his wife Emily Png, 29, Andsoforth Junior’s events manager, during their trips overseas. The couple are also the co-founders of the company.
“We thought Singapore needed something like that. But instead of just going into these rooms to take pictures, we wanted to bring a theatrical element to it,” says Mr Wee. “We put in actors to bring the rooms to life. It’s more than just about photos because there’s a story to tell.”
It was also a priority to make the show interactive rather than have the actors deliver monologues, adds Mr Wee, who wrote the scripts. “Imagine meeting your favourite character… only to have them dumbfounded when you ask them a question about their past or what their favourite food is. That’s how boring monologues are to us.”
Although there are 22 different rooms, each four-hour session will feature only 12 characters at a time. The show is divided into “even emerald” and “odd orange” weeks, with some characters such as Cinderella and Mariah Mackerel Mermaid – Andsoforth Junior’s take on The Little Mermaid – making an appearance only on alternate weeks during the production’s two-month run.
BOOK IT / 22 STORIES
WHERE: PeopleUp @ Pandan, 200 Pandan Gardens
WHEN: May 1 to June 30, 10am to 2pm or 5.30 to 9.30pm
ADMISSION: $38 (standard), family pack for four persons ($140)
Ms Png says this will help make the experience different for visitors who want to return for a second round. “Visitors may not be able to experience the entire production fully in four hours, so if they really like the concept, they can come back and see the other characters.”
Shutterbugs can also look forward to aesthetically pleasing rooms where they can take photographs. The elaborate set cost around $1 million and took four months to construct.
Mr Wee says: “We’re in this generation where you’re glued to your phone and you need Instagram. What better place to have everything? Here, you have theatre, entertainment, Instagram-worthy backdrops and characters to meet.”
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