Photo credit: FILL THE VAMP

Online game about Singapore’s musical theatre history is a neat mix of education and entertainment

Uncover hidden industry secrets and enjoy song covers from local productions such as December Rains and Monkey Goes West through playing this game.

Naren Sankar

Nostalgic man, never giving up. Loves cartoons.

Published: 14 May 2021, 2:30 PM

Due to tightened COVID-19 measures from May 8, my hopes of attending a musical this year were thrown into doubt. Going through my Facebook feed feeling a little disappointed about this new development, I stumbled upon a free online game delving into Singapore’s musical theatre history, House is Open.

Being a fan of musicals, I could not resist playing it. After spending 30 minutes on it, I can say that it exceeded my expectations and is well worth playing, purely for the amount of information you can learn.

The gameplay is simple: you match items or words on the seats in the game to their corresponding item on the game stage by clicking on the items on the stage.

After you have matched each item, you will be rewarded with trivia about the music group, Dim Sum Dollies and musicals, December Rains and Monkey Goes West.

Match items or words on the seats in the game to their corresponding item on the game stage by clicking on the items on the stage. PHOTO CREDIT: FILL THE VAMP

I found this concept interesting as I was rewarded with information which I otherwise would not have known, such as the 2015 version of December Rains having a deconstructed clock face and being wildly different from the original 1996 production.

That was not the only surprise that awaited me as I played through all three levels of the game, as players can even be rewarded music covers from Fill the Vamp members or interviews with show creatives such as Bang Wenfu, the music arranger of December Rains.

The song covers by Fill the Vamp members were a nice touch because not only did they pay homage to the songs from the three iconic local musicals but also, brought contemporary renditions to the beloved songs. PHOTO CREDIT: FILL THE VAMP

I would say that if you miss going for the performing arts, House is Open not only fills that longing in your heart but also enriches your knowledge of three things related to Singapore’s musical theatre history.

The game has educated me on the musical scene and I feel inclined to find out more about the local performing arts scene. I realised that I do not know a lot about local musicals and think that it is important for me to learn more about this part of Singaporean culture.

The free online game was launched by local musical theatre collective, Fill the Vamp, and is available to play until Aug 31.

Fill the Vamp was set up last year by Singapore musical theatre practitioners in the midst of the pandemic to bring the joys of local musicals to Singaporeans and House Is Open definitely brought joy to me.

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