Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Comedy Club takes on the Japanese Occupation

In Andre's Social Studies class, the kids were told to break up into groups, write and enact a scene from the Japanese Occupation. I'm not sure if the teacher mentioned that the skit had to be historically correct but I cracked up when I read the script that Andre's group came up with.

I don't have the full script but the following was a short segment from the skit. Andre was cast as General Percival.

General Yamashita (banging on the door): 'Openupu!'

General Percival (fiddling with the doorknob): 'Hold on, this door is stuck!'

General Yamashita tries to kick the door open. "Ow! Hurry up!'

General Percival (opens the door): "Yes?" (notices Yamashita) "Good heavens!"

After a monologue, General Yamashita drags General Percival to the surrender room. "Do you wish to surrender unconditionally?"

General Percival (mutters): "Yes."

General Yamashita (thrusting a piece of paper into General Percival's hands): "Here, sign this."

General Percival (reads letter): "'Dear Emperor, we are running out of weapons and food. Please give us machine guns, rockets, green tea..' What is...?"

General Yamashita (hastily snatches letter back) "Sorry! Here, this is the one."

General Percival signs the treaty. He then crumples treaty and tosses it at Yamashita.

Apparently, the two boys really hammed it up. Andre put on a dead-pan face and spoke in what he thought was a British accent. I have to commend the teacher for not berating the group for turning the event into a Laurel and Hardy farce.

In fact, after all the groups had presented, the teacher allowed each student to vote for the following awards in a secret ballot: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Group Performance and Best Script.

Andre's group was voted the Best Group Performance! His best friend aka General Yamashita won Best Actor. Clearly, the kids voted not on historical accuracy but entertainment value.

The teacher gave out 'Oscars' to all the winners which I thought was highly sporting of him.

Some may say this isn't the way to teach Singapore's history but I'm certain the kids will remember this lesson much more clearly (and fondly). And maybe Andre can explore an alternative career in stand-up comedy.


Anonymous said...

OMG this is so funny! It's good the teacher made the lesson so interesting. Graz to Andre for winning the "Oscar"! Hollywood next?


monlim said...

PL: Not sure Hollywood will be ready for Andre :P

ada said...

Hahaha, there's something to be said about natural talent.... from script-writing to award-winning performance. Go, Andre!! :p

monlim said...

Thanks Ada! Actually, Andre didn't have a hand in writing the script, it was done by a girl in his group (I thought it was pretty darn good!) All he did was play the role he was told to :D

Anonymous said...

Great way to learn indeed...and I am sure Andre remembers the facts even better now. Congrats to Andre for his oscar award!

Btw, do you know if Lilian has stopped updating her blog totally?


monlim said...

QX: Haha, you'll have to ask her but I think so. I'm finding it difficult to update my blog too - too little time!

edmund said...

this is an interesting way to get the kids involved, remember the subject and most importantly a fun way to learn. i liked his version of the treaty. throwing the treaty at his adversary.

btw, i stumbled onto here while researching for paper cutting.

Arbee Panga said...

Hello Mummy Monlim,

Nice post! :) Congrats to Andre and his team! I am Arbee from MumCentre and we are looking for Mummy Blog Partners in Singapore. May I ask for your email address so we can send you a proposal on the blog partner program?

Hope to hear from you soon.


monlim said...

Arbee: You can email me at but perhaps I shd state upfront that I don't want this blog to be an advertising platform for any site. Thanks!

Puzzled by Puzzles! said...

That's what I would call joy in learning! Kudos to Andre's teacher for coming up with the Oscars Awards.

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