Review: Tales of Grimmsneyland by Andsoforth Junior
Fairytales come alive in this family-friendly theatrical experience.
Following a successful run of the more adult-oriented, immersive dining show Grimmsneyland earlier this year, Andsoforth returns with a new version of the show in the form of Tales of Grimmsneyland. This time around, the immersive dining experience has been scrapped, and instead of adults, the target audience has shifted to kids aged 4 years old and above, as they dive into the world of ‘Grimmsneyland’.
Grimmsneyland, as its name suggests, is a fairy tale land where characters from all manner of folklore come together and thrive. From a magic mirror to fairy godmother, each of the five themed rooms features a distinct character from a familiar story one might have heard growing up. As audience members move from one themed room to another, they’ll come face to face with a character from a familiar story, helping them get through a task or learning an important life lesson from them.
Our guide then, takes the form of Brandon, a fairy godfather in-training as he decides to accompany us around Grimmsneyland on a tour. Starting off in the mystical Galaxy Room, with pretty planets hung up to evoke the feeling of a nebulous limbo, this room acts as a holding area for guests, where bartenders dressed in starry, space-y outfits serve up purchasable snacks from brownies to cookies, and flavoured sodas. Here, we meet Mirror Mirror, who gives audience members a quick glimpse into what they might come to expect from each of the rooms to come, as he paints them a picture with words and encourages the use of imagination to build anticipation.
In the rooms to come, we meet characters as fascinating as a scatterbrained mermaid to a princess operating a scam. Each of these rooms allow audiences plenty of interaction with the featured character, all of whom fully commit to their role at all times, to the point we could safely let our imaginations run free and truly believe that we’d stepped into a fantasy land outside of Singapore. From simple problem solving skills to learning dances and song, it was evident that the young audience members were having plenty of fun along the way while taking away valuable life lessons, such as learning that with a little heart and hard work, one could grow up to be anything they wanted.
Most noteworthy of all is just how safe a space Andsoforth Junior has made this entire experience for young audiences, a strong entry point for anyone looking to introduce their kids to theatre in an accessible way. The number of balls in the ball pit, for example, was lowered to ensure kids would be able to stand above ‘sea level’, alongside including a carpeted floor so that they wouldn’t fall and hurt themselves. References to adult jokes and references have been completely removed, and the fairytales themselves are almost universally recognizable, allowing kids to participate enthusiastically and respond to each prompt.
Tales of Grimmsneyland is a simple and accessible, yet entertaining romp through a fantasyland that kids growing up listening to Western fairytales would surely enjoy, as their favourite characters come alive – with a twist. With the lessons and experiences they take home from them, perhaps in time to come we’ll see their positive effects, and with the fond memories gained from this, encourage them to take up a theatre-going lifestyle themselves.
Performance attended 29/7/18
Tales of Grimmsneyland is recommended for children aged 6 to 12, and runs from 28th July to 10th August at 16D Lorong Ampas, GS Building S328778. Children below 7 will have to be accompanied by an adult. Tickets available from Andsoforth