By: Jess Smit
If you struggle to get into the Christmas vibe in Singapore because it’s so flaming hot, this little guide to the best festive performances on the island will have you whistling Deck The Halls before you know it – snow or no snow. We’re talking Christmas musicals, pantomimes, children’s sing-alongs and even a free performance by Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir. So book one of the below, grab a Christmas tree, shop for presents at the markets, take in the twinkly decorations around town and embrace Christmas, Singapore-style!
Family memories are made of this! Pack everyone off to see this Christmas treat, presented by Singapore Repertory’s Theatre’s The Little Company and directed by Kate Golledge.
Junior Claus is the rebellious heir to an immense empire in the North Pole, where elves busily prepare for the biggest day of the year – Christmas. When Santa falls into a deep sleep because the Belief-o-Meter falls to a dangerously low level, Grumpo the greedy elf takes control of Santa’s workshop and attempts to ruin the Yuletide season forever. Junior, alongside his friends Chipper the elf and Pengy the penguin, join forces to prevent this disastrous outcome.
The message behind this fun musical is the importance of cherishing family and friends instead of material possessions – so best get the offspring to watch this before they pen lengthy letters to Santa!
Dates: 31 October – 14 December 2014
Venue: DBS Arts Centre – Home of SRT
Pricing: From $32
The Amazing Toybox’s My Christmas Wish!
Heaps of tots across the island will have come across children’s music sensation The Amazing ToyBox before.
Now the zany duo are preparing for their annual Christmas concert, along with pals Sheriff Bob, insect adventurer Abby Ant and dancers the Boogie Bugs. The on-stage bash will feature puppets, dancing, singing and, most importantly, a lot of silliness.
It’s recommended for 1-6 year olds, so book in your bunch of siblings and savour the sight of them not bickering for once!
Dates: 29 and 30 November 2014
Venue: Ulu Pandan CC Theatrette
Pricing: From $26 for early bird tickets
A Cappella Christmas Vocal Jam
Join vocal group Urban Harmony as they, together with Santa, Mrs Claus and some helpful elves nurse Rudolph back to health in A Cappella Society’s lovely little Christmas tale about friendship.
The interactive family musical will see young theatre-goers in the audience helping to decorate the stage with their crafts, while singing along and creating improvised tunes.
Get there early to catch the pre-concert Christmas craft sessions at 10am and 2pm!
Dates: 22 November 2014 (11am, 3pm and 7pm) and 23 November 2014 (11am and 3pm)
Venue: TAS@Aliwal Arts Centre
Pricing: From $20
All Things Bright and Beautiful
What can be more festive than Christmas carols? Christmas carols sung by the Singapore Lyric Opera Children’s Choir and friends, that’s what.
The line-up of charming classics include Dormouse’s Carol by Elizabeth Poston, and John Rutter’s All Things Bright and Beautiful, and will also feature the SLO Opera Chorus and the Nanyang Children’s Choir.
Date and time: 13 December 2014, 7.30pm
Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall
Pricing: From $25
Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) Christmas Concerts
Hear Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and John Rutter’s Candelight Carol, among many other carols and yuletide melodies, belted out by the SSO, the Singapore Symphony Chorus and the Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir in the gorgeous setting of Victoria Concert Hall. That ought to do it!
Dates: 11-14 December 2014
Venue: Victoria Concert Hall
Pricing: From $20
VCH Organ Series: Wolcum Yole! – A Christmas Concert
This exciting festive performance by SSO is completely free and will feature a range of special guests on stage.
To celebrate the re-opening of the Victoria Concert Hall, the audience will be treated to performances by Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir, plus talented organists Margaret Chen and Isaac Lee. The programme includes Bob Chilcott’s Angel Gabriel, Benjamin Britten’s Procession and Wolcum Yole, and the obligatory carol sing-a-long.
Tickets are required for admission and registration opens on Monday 8 December 2014, so pop a note into your calendar now.
Date: 20 December 2014, 7.30pm
Venue: Victoria Concert Hall
Pricing: Zilch! Now that’s festive!
Tickets: Head here
Monkey Goes West
And now for the pantomime you’ve all been waiting for, W!LD RICE’s Monkey Goes West.
This family musical is a cheeky retelling of the Chinese fantasy, with producers relocating the classic to modern-day Singapore. Yup, the extravaganza will take you from Haw Par Villa to Jurong West – by way of a colourful world filled with mythical monsters and naughty fairies.
Written by Alfian Sa’at, Monkey Goes West follows orphan Ah Tang as he runs away from home to escape quarrelling with his adoptive family. The show is chock-a-block with catchy songs, elaborate costumes, gags, magic and even Wushu (along the lines of Chinese martial arts).
Watch out for children from Martial House showing off their impressive Wushu skills, as well as young performers from W!LD RICE’s First Stage Programme taking to the stage.
Dates: 21 November – 13 December 2014
Venue: Victoria Theatre
Pricing: From $45
Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story
Okay, so this isn’t technically a Christmas show, but we’ll make an exception for J.M. Barrie’s classic tale about a mischievous boy who never grows up, because Peter Pan is just so darn twinkly!
Staged at Resorts World Sentosa (which lights up like a glitter ball for the festive season, anyway), the theatrical adventure rolls out thrilling swordplay, magical fairy dust and high-flying action.
It also hits all the right notes, with classic tunes from stars including Robbie Williams, Josh Groban and Westlife getting a makeover by musical director and Grammy-winning composer Matt Dunkley. He’s the musical talent behind hit movie Moulin Rouge, so you know this is going to be pretty special.
Fancy making a break for Sentosa and joining Peter, Wendy, John, Michael Darling and Captain Hook on a magical flight to Neverland? Snap up tickets before it’s too late.
The Chuggington Winter Snow Party
Catch Chuggington Trainees Wilson, Brewster and Koko in a free live show at City Square Mall this festive season. Head along early to save your spot!
Plus, spend $50 in the mall on the day to nab a ‘Meet and Greet Pass’ that’ll let your little ones have a happy snap with their favourite characters. Terms and conditions apply, so check website for City Square Mall’s website details.
Dates: 6 December – 21 December 2014 (daily except Monday)
Live show: Weekdays at 2pm and 7pm; weekends at 1pm, 4pm and 7pm
Meet and Greet: Weekdays at 2.30pm and 7.30pm; weekends at 1.30pm, 4.30pm and 7.30pm
Venue: L1 Atrium
Pricing: Free! Though you’ll need to spend $50 in the mall to get a special ‘Meet and Greet Pass’.
The Night Safari’s shadowy wilderness turns into a fairy-filled wonderland this season. Kids can explore the illuminated rainforest, meet curious creatures, and solve puzzles for gems that will put them one step closer to completing the Mystica Quest. The first 200 guests to finish the quest nabs a shimmery prize. This interactive night is a must for families that love surprise and adventure.
Dates: 21, 22, 28, 29 November, 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 20 December.
Venue: Night Safari
pricing: $39 (adult), $25 (child)