If you want to watch how puppeteers from the region and around the world perform, No Strings Attached festival must be on the list. We attended Paper Monkey Theatre’s No Strings Attached Puppet Festival and was really impressed by the puppeteers’ acts. If Paper Monkey Theatre sounds familiar, this is the group behind the Magic Mee Goreng performance at Science Centre Singapore’s STEAM Festival!
We watched Safari by Thailand’s Ta Lent Show Theatre, Bunny’s Adventure by Malaysia’s Anthony Lee and The Big Bully by local puppeteers Paper Monkey Theatre. We also had the opportunity to enjoy two fringe shows during the two intermissions: Two Instead of One as well as Singapore’s Next Top Bird.
Our Review of No Strings Attached Puppet Festival 2023
Aptly targeted at children between 3 to 9, the puppetry performances were entertaining, hilarious and an ingenious use of objects. We learnt that the form of puppetry was called object puppetry. It is a form of puppetry that uses everyday objects to transform them into whimsical characters through sheet magic of creativity and imagination.
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Ordinary becomes extraordinary as things like pliers, plastic bags, plates, and water bottles come to life in this form of theatre. We were so amazed at how the puppeteers could get audiences to imagine what the items were effortlessly using the simplest objects.
Both my 9-year-old and I were so intrigued by the Thai performers using mime and object theatre. We traveled from the Safari to the ocean with them and took away the important lesson of caring for our environment.
Malaysian Anthony Lee also took us on a time-traveling adventure with a soft toy bunny. The interactions and inputs from the audience were very much encouraged. The kids loved to be part of the performance helping the bunny out.
Last but not least, Paper Monkey Theatre told the story of a bully-turned-friend. We were sure that the children knew not to hurt others by taking away their belongings.
The fringe performances were also worth a mention. One story revolved around a Samsui woman who had to travel to Singapore to work. We even learnt a Cantonese song! The other story was about birds competing to be Singapore’s Top Bird. Using paper plates, dusters, and paper fans, our imagination was ignited through the clever use of props to represent different characters.
After Show Craft Workshops
Children could participate in craft workshops after the performance. One workshop was on creating a flying butterfly puppet while the other workshop was on making a mini pop-up book.
To attend future performances and events, head to Paper Monkey Theatre’s site.