As Hungry Ghost Festival winds down, and the last God of Hell effigies burn to ash in the street, Mark & I chanced upon a local Teochew Puppet Show at the Anson Road Market. A family of three generations worked as a team to bring the puppets to life through traditional music and stories.
Sadly, no one was there to catch this unique performing art. However, the family seemed content with us and a handful of ghosts, as they put on a lively show.We couldn't understand a word of the singing but we were hooked! It was touching to observe the grandpa sitting in the back playing the large gong, while his youngest granddaughter sat by his feet hitting her smaller gong right on cue and even singing in her cute, high-pitch voice.
We watched as puppet after puppet took the stage with every family member joining in to play instruments and sing a part. The entire family's synergy became part of the show.
After an hour of taking pictures and admiring the show, we noticed not one family member took a drink of water or even moved from their spot. The show lasted over two hours without a break, but part of the fun was observing the interaction between them as they made faces at each other and egged each other on. It makes us wonder how the little girls show such a degree of discipline and natural passion for their family’s art.
The Kim Gaik Low Choon Puppet Show (金玉楼春潮州木偶) runs for one more night (September 7th) at the Anson Road Market. I’m sure the ghosts will save you a seat…
For those who are not able to join them, we have recorded some short clips here for you to see: