‘The Monkey King’ Comes To Esplanade This November, Combines Chinese Opera & Modern Theatrics

‘The Monkey King’ Comes To Esplanade This November, Combines Chinese Opera & Modern Theatrics

Catch ‘The Monkey King’ Chinese Opera At Esplanade In November

Growing up, many of us would likely have heard the tale of the Monkey King, whether through TV shows, movies, or the ‘Journey to the West’ novel.

Despite being centuries old, stories about Sun Wukong’s antics and adventures remain a classic to this day, bearing testament to their enduring appeal.

Now, Sun Wukong and his colourful cohorts are coming to the stage, thanks to a traditional Chinese opera retelling coming to Singapore this November, courtesy of Trend Micro Singapore.

monkey king opera

Image courtesy of Trend Education Foundation

The show will blend elements of traditional Peking opera with modern theatrics to evoke nostalgia while appealing to a new generation of audiences.

Read on to find out what you can expect from the production, which is coming to Esplanade on 10 and 11 Nov.

‘The Monkey King’ Chinese opera will have a blend of traditional & modern

‘The Monkey King’ opera is an export of Taiwan, where it played sold-out shows on stages across Taipei, Kaohsiung, and Taichung from 2021 to 2023.

monkey king opera

Image courtesy of Trend Education Foundation

It is a collaboration between the National Taiwan College of Performing Arts and Trend Education Foundation, the philanthropic arm of cybersecurity company Trend Micro.

If you’ve ever seen so much as a clip from previous ‘The Monkey King’ stage adaptations, it’s time to put whatever impressions you may have formed from them aside as this upcoming show is an entirely fresh new take.

Image courtesy of Trend Education Foundation

The traditional Chinese opera’s stage designs aim to reflect the Eastern aesthetics of Peking opera and are built to elevate the cast’s performances as they wow audiences with their kungfu stunts.

At the same time, it relies on modern stage settings, lighting, and visual effects to not only rejuvenate the show, but make it more immersive and believable for audiences.

In other words, expect a unique presentation that will appeal to folks of all ages, from your ah ma who grew up reading the OG novel to your dramatic BFF who’s into all things theatrical.

Chinese opera centres on Sun Wukong’s antics in the Heavenly Court

The opera will follow the adventures of Sun Wukong aka the Monkey King himself in the Heavenly Court as he overcomes his adversaries.

His story begins with him forging the legendary Jingu Bang, a magical staff that grants him great powers.

monkey king opera

Image courtesy of Trend Education Foundation

Audiences will then see him receive an invitation to take on the position of ‘Equine Transportation Officer’ in the Heavenly Court.

However, upon discovering that he has been tricked into accepting a low-ranking position, he faces off against the Lord of Horses and emerges victorious.

Following that, Sun Wukong’s penchant for chaos gets himself into increasingly greater conflicts, which culminates in a confrontation with hundreds of thousands of celestial soldiers and generals — ‘Avengers: Endgame’ final battle-style.

Image courtesy of Trend Education Foundation

Breathing life into Sun Wukong is a trio of martial arts actors comprising Chu Lu-Hao, Hsu Ting-Fang, and Chin Lang.

The rest of the cast is made up of students and actors from the Department of Jing Ju (Peking Opera) and the Jing Ju Troupe of National Taiwan College of Performing Arts, so audiences can look forward to authentic and powerful performances all-around.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million, so here’s the trailer for the show in Taiwan:

You and your loved ones will surely walk out of the theatre raving about all your favourite parts, making this an excellent family bonding activity.

Tickets to ‘The Monkey King’ opera now on sale from S$38

If reading about all that has piqued your curiosity, you will be glad to know that tickets for ‘The Monkey King’ Chinese opera are now on sale.

Tickets are available exclusively at the following prices:

  • Standard: S$128, S$98, S$68, S$48, S$38
  • Esplanade Box: S$128
  • Premier Box A and B: S$128
  • Box B to G: S$48
  • Restricted View: S$48, S$38

Esplanade&Me members are in luck as they can also get 20% off any of the ticket categories with the exception of Esplanade Box and Premier Box.

The show will run for two hours and 30 minutes — with a 20-minute interval — and will be performed in Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles.

There will only be two nights of performances on 10 and 11 Nov, so be sure to book your tickets on SISTIC as soon as possible because there are only limited seats available for some categories.

Once that’s settled, here’s how you can make your way to Esplanade Theatre:

‘The Monkey King’ Chinese opera
Address: 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981
Dates: 10 & 11 Nov 2023
Time: 8pm
Nearest MRT station: Esplanade

To find out more about the show, visit ‘The Monkey King’ opera website or follow the official Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok pages.

Passing down stories is a way of embracing & preserving our roots

The special thing about a classic, well-loved tale is that it can truly appeal to family members of all ages, from the very oldest to the very youngest, serving as a bridge between generations.

A form of traditional performance art that has been passed down through time is also valuable for the role it plays in preserving one’s roots or allowing others to learn about one’s culture.

And of course, combined with jaw-dropping performances and world-class production quality, you’ll be in for a magical time that you’ll cherish for years to come.

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Trend Micro Singapore.

Featured image courtesy of Trend Education Foundation.

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