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The 60 Second Plug: Teater Ekamatra’s “Madu II”

By Zedeck Siew Fast becoming Singapore’s most important playwright, the strength of Alfian Sa’at oeuvre lies in the wit and verve with which he handles a variety of subjects: Singaporean gay culture in the Asian Boys trilogy – the recently concluded “Happy Endings: Asian Boys Vol 3” had audiences bawling in their seats; the SARS […]

The Merlion Spouts

By Jerome Kugan Recently, I attended the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) as an invited writer. Objectivity is very much suspect when one writes about something of which one was a part so you shall not find that here. Asia Truly Exotic In Malaysia, publishers, writers and readers of fictional works are, at best, fictitious. Whether […]

Murder Most Foul (Can you smell the belacan?)

By Meng Yew Choong This is another whodunit for the big stage. Though it was presented to Singaporeans for the third time (in 1997 and 1998 at the Jubilee Hall of the Raffles Hotel), the difference this time was that it took place within the magnificent confines of the sophisticated Esplanade Theatre. Being my first […]

Happy Divorce Anniversary!

By Cyril Wong On a stage with only four scaffolding structures and two foldable screens, four actors come on to commemorate 50 years of the Islamic Republic of Malaya and Singapore’s National Day in 2007. This is a scenario dreamed up by two playwrights (Jit Murad from Malaysia and Haresh Sharma from Singapore) with two […]

Whose Film Is It Anyway?

By Benjamin McKay The Fifth Asian Film Symposium and Inaugural Forum on Asian Cinema took place at Singapore’s Substation from 9-18 Sep 2005 and a number of Malaysian filmmakers crossed the Causeway to join their Southeast Asian colleagues in a rigorous and engaging attempt to answer some key questions about the state of filmmaking in […]

The Lady Esplanade

By Pete Teo I played at the Esplanade (Jan 14 – 16, 2005). For those who are clueless, the Esplanade is Singapore’s shiny new national performing arts centre. And yes, I am aware that Malaysians tend to cart forth stories of chewing gum and blowjob every time Singapore is mentioned in conversation – but please […]

What’s with Malays and Cats?

By Alfian Sa’at In the 80’s and early 90’s, both Malay as well as English programmes were screened on what was then known as Channel 5, and Mandarin and Tamil programmes on Channel 8. This was before both the Malay and Tamil programmes were later relocated to the channel Prime 12 in 1995. These media […]

Homo-patriotic

By Alfian Sa’at Heard of the pink dollar? It’s the latest trans-national currency. It’s not actually pink in colour, and denominations don’t come in the form of queer three dollar bills, but the purported ability of the pink dollar to cross territorial borders makes the Euro seem like last century’s news. Some people consider the […]

Abusing Prisoners of Wars

By Pang Khee Teik Like prisoners of war, starved, feverish, I found myself drifting in and out of consciousness, beholding such strange visions I couldn’t tell which state of consciousness I was in. This was my experience watching the highly abstract and sleep-inducing Sandakan Threnody by Theatreworks, Singapore, a performance based on the events of […]

Singaporean Couplings

By Pang Khee Teik On a makeshift tent by the Singapore River, Stella Kon took her place behind the microphone. The 60-year-old playwright, looking as matriarchal as her creation, Emily of Emerald Hill, was about to do some serious poetry slam. Her theme this evening was inspired by the People’s Action Party’s early campaign speeches […]

Communal Menses

By Alfian Sa’at It would be parochial to insist that Singaporean theatre companies only produce plays by indigenous playwrights, but one cannot deny that there are stricter expectations exerted by a local audience sensitive to post-colonial nuances. Globalisation’s double-edged sword: offering greater access to material texts from other countries and yet at the same time, […]

Buddha and Other Jet Setters

By Pang Khee Teik Singaporean director Ong Keng Sen is often accused of being wanky. As the founder of Theatreworks, one of the bigger companies in Singapore (meaning they get good funding from the government), he is known internationally for his cross-disciplinary works. In the recent Search Hamlet, staged in a castle in Denmark no […]