A recipe for a successful family

by | February 1, 2019

The Necessary Stage’s Theatre For Seniors puts on its latest production where seniors weave together stories about love in families.

A group photo of the seniors and community participants in “It Takes All Kinds”, plus the two directors Serena Ho and Julius Foo.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, The Necessary Stage’s Theatre For Seniors (TFS) is holding its production called “It Takes All Kinds”, which is jointly devised and performed by 12 seniors and community participants aged 56 to 72. The latest production, which follows TFS’ 2008 production called “Encore” where there were a series of skits, seniors weave together stories that delve into specifically what makes a successful family.

Developed in collaboration with Setagaya Public Theatre from Tokyo, the devised production is created by the seniors and residents through workshops exploring their real-life experiences and perspectives. One of seniors in the production, Kathleen Neo, shared her story about the conflicts of caring for her bedridden mother for more than nine years, after she suffered a stroke.

Kathleen Neo, on the left.

The 69-year-old grandmother of three added: “As a supporter of local arts, I love and frequently watch plays. To explore my passion for theatre further, I joined TFS in 2015 while I was still working. Now that I have retired for a year after working for almost 30 years at a statutory board, I have more time to commit myself to this learning journey, even though I have to travel a distance from Jurong to Marine Parade which takes an hour-and-a-half.”

She said, “With great facilitators and interactions with more experienced members at TFS, going through improvisations for skits was fun but when it comes to stage acting, staying in focus of the character as we perform is key.”

For another senior, Freddy Lim, 70, who had polio at the age of one which affected both his legs and after a fall, now walks with the aid of a walking stick, shared his experience, “Initially I had reservations because of my mobility and whether I could do the job well. This group accepted all of us, including another individual who is visually-handicapped. I felt relieved that they accepted me for who I am and what I can and cannot do. I was very encouraged.”

Asked about his personal story he shared, Freddy revealed it was about the peculiarities of his wife cleaning the table in the hawker centre even when it is already clean and would always choose a table far away when he prefers to sit closer to the hawker stall. “I have learned to accept her style.”

The director of “It Takes All Kinds”, Serena Ho also shared about the production, “As people, how different are we? And working with the seniors, we’ve learned that we are not so different after all.” Kathleen added: “I believe the world would be incomplete if everyone is alike!”

There are only three performances available from March 1 to 3 at the Marine Parade Community Theatrette – March 1, 8pm; March 2, 3pm and 8pm; and March 3, 3pm. To buy your ticket of S$15, go to: https://ittakesallkinds.peatix.com.




  1. Kathleen

    Dear Ms Eleanor Yap,

    Thank you very much for writing this beautiful article!

    Thanks again for your support for this event!

    Warmest Regards,
    Kathleen Neo
    TFS Member of TNS

    • agelessadmin

      You are most welcome, Kathleen.


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