Published on 21 January 2018

We give you some tried-and-tested tips on watching these wonderfully immersive plays with your young ones.

By Melanie Lee

KidsFest 2018 is back for its seventh year with six world-class theatre productions bringing beloved children’s stories to life! Organised by ABA Productions, here are some of the plays that we think should not be missed:

Hairy Maclary and Friends

For ages 2+

While this adorable canine book series by Lynley Dodd has not quite achieved a cult-like status yet in Singapore, it’s an irresistibly fun adventure story revolving around dogs with quirky names like Bottomley Potts and Hercules Morse.

The Gruffalo

For ages 3+

A box office favourite since 2013, there’s plenty of laugh-out loud moments (even for adults) as Mouse outwits a variety of creatures in the forest, including the world’s silliest monster, Gruffalo.

The Ugly Duckling

For ages 3+

Be charmed by this mesmerising musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of an unusual duckling. At the same time, children will discover the importance of self-worth and inner beauty.

Dinosaur Zoo

For ages 5+

Travel back in time and come face-to-face with these prehistoric creatures while learning more about the science of palaeontology. There’ll be baby dinosaurs, as well as a range of herbivore and carnivore dinosaurs to please the most discerning dinosaur fan.


Going to the theatre with young children can often be quite a mammoth, multi-tasking event! Here’s our take on making it a pain-free play as possible!

Go for a toilet break just before the play.

Maximise the money you spend on tickets by just allotting one parent to accompany the kid(s) to the play. That way, you can catch more productions!

Don’t check your phone during the play. Set the example for the next generation of theatre goers that performers should be respected and deserving of our full attention.

If your restless kid wants to stand up or wriggle/dance about during the play, don’t stop him/her! The plays are interactive and often require kids to make noise and do actions, so standing up and wriggling is part and parcel of the ‘audience culture’ at KidsFest – fellow parents in the audience are usually quite accommodating to this, especially since a small kid doesn’t really block anyone’s view standing up.

Read the book just before and just after the play. It helps children to visualise the story and sometimes, they’d like to recap the story all by themselves after that! Even better: bring the book or any related toy along to the theatre so that your kid feels that he/she is part of the play as well.

If your child is introduced to the story for the first time through the play, be sure you drop by the festival bookshop after the play to pick up related books so you can revisit the story together and encourage the love of reading.

KidsFest 2018 takes place from 19 January to 11 February 2018 at Victoria Theatre and KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT. Click here for more information.

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