SINGAPORE - The festive mood for this year's carnival- themed ChildAid was set even before the doors opened at the Marina Bay Sands' Sands Theatre.
Before each of the three shows last Friday and Saturday, sequinned masquerade masks, packets of rainbow-coloured jelly beans and Chupa Chups lollipops were handed out to the audiences.
Roving mascots in the shape of musical instruments milled around, gamely posing for photos and interacting with children.
When the curtains rose, the audiences in the 1,680-seat Sands Theatre were treated to a dizzying line-up of instrumental music, dance, vocals, circus acts, aerial acrobatics and gymnastics against changing backdrops and props including cardboard animals, hot-air balloons, hearts and psychedelic multimedia projections.
The show's four emcees - Dennis Sofian, 19; Leong Su Yean, 12; Zora Imani Smith, 16; and Natasha Anne Vokes, 12 - or "ringmasters" as they called themselves, provided lively banter in between introducing the 23 acts.
During the show on the opening night, they called on guest of honour Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong to settle a debate if the male or female performers were better.
Mr Wong raised both thumbs, indicating they were equally good.