Sowing the seeds of community in Singapore Theatre Company’s children’s musical Errol’s Garden

Published on 25 March 2024
By Team Catch
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What do a used boot, a saucepan, and a teacup have in common? For starters, they make for strangely useful flower pots. 


As it turns out, gardens can grow even in the least likely of places. In Errol’s Garden, the latest children’s production by The Little Company (the children’s wing of the Singapore Theatre Company), the main character Errol is a child with green thumbs and a green dream. When the plant enthusiast’s plants start to clutter his home, his father gives him the huge task of finding them a new home by the end of the week.

 Mid shot of Errol and Tia on set

Experience the magic as Errol and Tia take on the roles of different playful characters!

In the concrete jungle that is Singapore, he finds his solution in the unused rooftop of his flat, where all sorts of junk come in handy in housing his collection of flowers and vegetables, including his favourite pea flower, affectionately known as Pea-nelope. 

 

But it takes a village to raise a child—including non-human ones. Errol and his sister, Tia, must assemble a motley crew of neighbours from their estate to contribute to his budding garden. Beyond one boy’s passion, the musical underscores the message that nature is everybody’s business.  


The glee in gardening


Entertaining and educating children about the importance of nature is no easy task, which is why musicals need a vibrant set and cast. Characters like Mrs. Booker, playfully nicknamed Mrs. Booger due to her fictional role in the "Board of Order of Government and Environmental Relations," contrast sharply with Joe, a stereotypical buff who offers to help only because he can grow basil plants for his protein shakes.


Adding to the charm are Errol and Tia, who cleverly use mannequins as stand-ins for side characters, engaging the audience in a unique and interactive way. As the story progresses, the audience becomes part of the action, actively participating in saving Errol's garden and assisting in locating snails (stuffed toys, of course) that threaten to destroy the community’s painstakingly cultivated garden.

 

Mid shot of Errol with a snail character


Capture Errol's curious encounter with a snail on his journey.

The message of Errol’s Garden is a timely one, especially with the Housing & Development Board’s efforts to promote community gardens and vertical farms in various estates across Singapore. But the play’s impact on its audience doesn’t just end there. After the play, every child receives a complimentary heart-shaped seed paper embedded with seeds that sprout when planted in soil, encouraging them to follow in Errol’s footsteps.  

 

After all, everyone can play a part in contributing to Singapore’s vision of being a city in a garden. As Errol said, “All you need is one seed.”


Leaf your worries behind with Errol’s Garden, running from 28 February to 5 April 2024 at the KC Arts Centre. Tickets are priced from $27. 


All images are credited to Singapore Theatre Company. 


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