Our Parenting World’s Exclusive Interview Series: Sing’theatre presents FOREVER YOUNG! and Exclusive Interview with Founder and Artistic & Executive Director, Nathalie Ribette
Hold on to your wigs and dentures as Sing’theatre presents a hilarious jukebox musical Forever Young that will knock you off your chair!
Forever Young is originally written by Swiss playwright Erik Gedeon and adapted by Benjamin “Mr Miyagi” Lee, the Singaporean twist of this European cult hit features a star-studded cast of renowned local thespians.
Set half a century later in year 2067, Forever Young chronicles the life of a group of retired actors living in a nursing home. These zany nonagenarians – formerly the pillars of Singapore’s art scene – are determined to prove that it is not all behind them. The residents do as they are told, but, once their no-nonsense caregiver Sister Sara leaves the room, the pensionable performers belt out musical theatre canons, rock classics and more – the way that only old people can!
Forever Young is the culmination of Sing’theatre’s 10th anniversary celebrations and runs from 11 to 21 October 2017 at the SOTA Drama Theatre.
To find out more and to purchase the tickets at Sistic, please visit
Exclusive interview Nathalie Ribette
Our Parenting World (OPW) is pleased to be able to interview Nathalie Ribette (NR), Founder and Artistic & Executive Director of Sing’theatre to find out more!
1. Can you share with us more about your background and what makes you decide to set up Sing’theatre?
NR: I arrived in Singapore in 1996, as a trailing spouse! My background was in marketing and sales in the healthcare industry. A few months after my arrival, as I was about to join my previous employer Siemens medical systems in Singapore, one of my kids fell very ill. I had to spend weeks in the hospital and was not able to join this company in the end, and could not take up any other regular jobs.
It was by chance in 1998 that I ended up attending an audition at Alliance Francaise, which was planning to stage an amateur production of my favourite French musical Starmania. I was very lucky to be chosen and I fell in love with the performing arts. This production brought on another and then, yet another one, and slowly, with no training but a lot of work, passion and perseverance, I end up performing professionally. Very fortunately, I met Ivan Heng ,Selena Tan, Hossan Leong and Glen Goei as I performed for Wild Rice. With their help, I pursued and achieved my dream: in 2006, Sing’theatre was born.
2. Tell us more about Sing’theatre and what are some of the joys and challenges that you faced when setting up and running Sing’theatre?
NR: Sing’theatre was founded 10 years ago with the aim of creating a cultural bridge between Paris and Singapore. In the first 10 years, our musicals and plays had a strong connection to France. ‘A Singaporean in Paris’, starring Hossan Leong, is our most successful production to date, having sold out at both the original 2010 production as well as at the 2014 remake.
Now, 10 years down the road with numerous community outreach and education programmes, Sing’theatre has developed with a more global outlook and a new mission that reflects what we believe in: ‘Performing for a better society’. We hope to engage the public with current social issues in Singapore through musical theatre.
This motto is carried across Sing’theatre’s three pillars:
1) Productions: by producing musical revues and shows that open social dialogues in the Singaporean community and promote multicultural interaction
2) Community Outreach: by making music and theatre universally accessible, especially in hospitals, reaching out in particular to the most isolated and underprivileged patients.
3) Education: by empowering youth and the community as a whole by sharing our passion for performing and providing top-level musical theatre training
It has been a fantastic journey so far! Full of joy but also full of stress! The main challenge has to be finding the funds to sustain the activities.
3. Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of Sing’theatre! What advice would you like to give to someone who aspires to be an entrepreneur like yourself and what are the key tips to be a successful entrepreneur?
NR: Thank you! When you are entrepreneur you need to be prepared to work very hard, focus on what you have in your hands to succeed (versus looking at what you lack). Never wait for the “right” moment to launch yourself because it is never the right moment. Never take a “No” for an answer. I think that almost everything is possible to anyone, especially in Singapore. Even if you have what it takes, are you ready to pay the price?
4. Please share with us more about Forever Young and what are your favourite scenes?
NR: In a nutshell, Forever Young is a hilarious jukebox Musical about growing old in Singapore. Initially written by Swiss playwright Erik Gedeon, the European cult hit Forever Young has been localised by blogger Benjamin “Mr Miyagi” Lee. The story is set in the year 2067 and tells the life of a group of retired actors living in a nursing home. The nonagenarians – formerly pillars of Singapore’s art scene – are determined to prove that it’s not all “behind them”. They do as they’re told, but, once their no-nonsense caregiver Sister Sara leaves the room, the pensionable performers belt out musical theatre canons, rock classics and more.
The arthritic dance moves and renditions of familiar songs – everything from Jay-Z’s “Forever Young” to Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab”, The Eagles’ “Hotel California” and One Direction’s “Story of My Life” – will make you laugh. But the show also looks at hard-hitting issues including dementia, illness and physical deterioration, as well as the mental and psychological wellness of the aged that are largely disregarded.
5. Do you have a favourite song that will make you feel Forever Young?
NR: There are so many! But any song by The Beatles make me feel young!
6. We understand that you are a mother, how do you manage to strike a work-life balance? Do you have any tips to our readers who are working mothers on balancing their work and family life?
NR: This is one of the biggest challenges!
The way I found to make my absence more acceptable is to have my kids and husband to help me out wherever possible, and to make them part of the journey. For example, Sing’theatre’s first logo was drawn by one of my boys who was just 10 years old then. We kept it for 10 years! The same boy, 10 years later, now helps with sound when we have our Sing’theatre Academy showcase.
I think even if I did not spend enough time with them when they were young, they are proud of what we have achieved, especially when we bring music to the patients in the hospitals.
7. Do you have any advice to children who aspire to go into acting as a career and become an actor/actress?
NR: With more schools and courses available in Singapore, it is now easier for youths to pursue their artistic passions. Parents are also increasingly more accepting towards their children pursuing an arts career. However the challenge remains, as it is difficult to make a living in the arts in Singapore.
8. Lastly, do you have anything you would like to add on and share with our readers about Forever Young and what can audience expect when they watch the musical?
NR: They will have fun, laugh but also think and be moved.
Our aim is to have a sense of hope permeate through the production. Growing old shouldn’t diminish one’s optimism and zest for living! We hope that through Forever Young, audiences will develop more empathy and a better understanding of growing old.
Thank you Nathalie Ribette for taking our interview!
To find out more about Sing’theatre, please visit: https://singtheatre.com/
Please stay tuned to our exclusive interview with Tan Kheng Hua coming up next!
Forever Young directed by Hossan Leong features prominent actors Karen T an, Julian Wong, Tan Kheng Hua, Candice De Rozario, Suhaimi Yusof, Ebi Shankara and Leong himself. Through the cast’s arthritic dance moves and renditions of familiar songs that include Jay-Z’s Forever Young, Amy Winehouse’s Rehab, The Eagles’ Hotel California and One Direction’s Story of My Life, the eponymous musical revue will shine the spotlight on eldercare in Singapore. Topics addressed in Forever Young include dementia and other illnesses and physical deterioration associated with ageing, as well as the mental and psychological wellness of the aged that are largely disregarded.
Get your tickets to watch Forever Young now!
Forever Young – Advisory: 16 (some mature content and coarse language)
Show Dates and Time:
Wednesday, 11 – Saturday, 21 October 2017
Monday – Friday : 8pm
Saturday : 4pm & 8pm
Sunday : 4pm
SOTA Drama Theatre
(Excludes Booking Fee)
Preview 11 October 2017, 8pm
Standard: S$50, S$45, S$40
Monday – Thursday / Saturday & Sunday matinees
Standard: S$64, S$54, S$44
Friday & Saturday evening
Standard: S$69, S$59, S$49
To find out more and to purchase the tickets at Sistic, please visit
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