Reviews

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Bernie Ng

Bedside Banter: Cyril & Michael by Bridging the Gap Collective

By Naeem Kapadia (800 words, 2-minute read)  Two strangers meet on gay dating app Grindr and share an encounter in a hotel room. Except it’s not just fast, meaningless sex. Budding playwright and theatremaker Theo Chen’s assured two-hander, presented by Bridging the Gap Collective, is a deceptively simple play that slowly draws one into its …

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Where are the Malays?: Locating the Singaporean Malay in Singa-Pura-Pura

Singa-Pura-Pura boasts an eclectic collection of short speculative fiction from a minority ethnic group in Singapore, exploring worlds where robots are therapists, prayers are read from preloaded cards, and humans are migrating to Mars. Edited by Nazry Bahrawi, the stories consider various spiritual, social, and economic themes, with many leaving me with questions about where we …

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Arts House Limited / Nine Years Theatre and The Pond Photography

Podcast 95: Three Sisters and _T0701_ at SIFA 2021

In this episode of the ArtsEquator theatre podcast, Naeem Kapadia, Matthew Lyon and Nabilah Said discuss Three Sisters by Nine Years Theatre and _T0701_ by Zeugma, which were both part of SIFA 2021. Stream Podcast 95: ArtsEquator · Podcast 95: Three Sisters & T0701 at SIFA 2021 Also available on Spotify.   Podcast Transcript  Naeem: …

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Lychee Bye in boudoir_1_Image courtesy of Win (@cheetouk)
Lychee Bye in boudoir. Photo by Win (@cheetouk)

Festival of Women N.O.W. 2021: Bold claims on identity

By Patricia Tobin (1,382 words, 4-minute read)  Led by artistic director Noorlinah Mohamed, this year’s online edition of the Festival of Women N.O.W. 2021 explores issues pertaining to women that are often forgotten or overlooked. There is Not Grey: Intimacy, Ageing & Being, a series of livestreamed and pre-recorded virtual performances featuring 15 women aged …

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The Second Breakfast Company

The frenemy’s handshake: The Singapore Trilogy as political theatre

My phone vibrated one night, with a notification that Singapore political party Workers’ Party (WP) was premiering a live video on Instagram. Curious, I tuned in – digital and social media being the default, on-tap mode of infotainment during the pandemic. It turned out to be an “office tour”, via live video feed, of LO …

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The Second Breakfast Company

Podcast 94: The Singapore Trilogy by The Second Breakfast Company

In the episode of the ArtsEquator theatre podcast, Nabilah Said, Matthew Lyon and Naeem Kapadia discuss The Singapore Trilogy by The Second Breakfast Company, which ran from March 11 to March 21 2021. Stream Podcast 94: ArtsEquator · Podcast 93: The Singapore Trilogy Also available on Spotify.   Podcast Transcript  Matthew Lyon (ML): Hello, everybody, …

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OIWA – The Ghost of Yotsuya (4)_Courtesy of Arts House Limited
Arts House Limited

Podcast 92: Critics Live: OIWA by The Finger Players at SIFA 2021

Critics Alice Saville (UK), Amitha Amranand (TH), Matthew Lyon (SG) and Taisuke Shimanuki (JP) discuss OIWA: The Ghost of Yotsuya by The Finger Players, presented at Singapore International Festival of the Arts (SIFA). The performance took place from 28-30 May 2021 at Victoria Theatre, and from 5-20 June via video on demand. Critics Live! is …

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CRISPI

End of an epic journey: A Dream Under the Southern Bough: Existence

By Jocelyn Chng (1,180 words, 4-minute read)  Existence is the third instalment in the Southern Bough series commissioned by Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA). As its title implies, this third piece closes the full work with a more philosophical tone than in the previous two. The first instalment, The Beginning (2018), introduced the first …

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Gardens Speak (6)_Courtesy of Arts House Limited
Arts House Limited

The Body Witness: Gardens Speak, en route, As Far As Isolation Goes at SIFA 2021

By Vithya Subramaniam (1,600 words, 6-minute read) Though cancelled last year amid the developing pandemic, Singapore International Festival of Arts has done well to lean into the possibilities of small-group, distanced programmes for this year’s line-up. I attended three of its immersive experiences—Gardens Speak, As Far As Isolation Goes, and en route—and found my body …

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The Year of No Return (1)_Courtesy of Tuckys
Tuckys Photography

Podcast 90: Critics Live: The Year of No Return by The Necessary Stage at SIFA 2021

Singapore critics Clarissa Oon, Lee Shu Yu, Nabilah Said and Naeem Kapadia discuss The Year of No Return by The Necessary Stage, presented at Singapore International Festival of the Arts (SIFA). The performance took place from 21-22 May 2021 at Victoria Theatre, and from 5-20 June via video on demand. Critics Live! is a critics-led …

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David Wilkinson/Empirical Photography

Podcast 88: Critics Live: The Journey by Scott Silven at SIFA 2021

Critics Ben Valentine (US), Kathy Rowland (SG), Michael HB Raditya (ID), Sharmilla Ganesan (MY) chat about The Journey by UK-based illusionist and mentalist, Scott Silven. The performance took place from 18-30 May 2021 as part of the Singapore International Festival of Arts. Critics Live! is a critics-led programme series created by ArtsEquator to give arts …

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Five Arts Centre

Oppy & Professor Communitas: Meanderings of the Malay male theatremaker

A new addition to the genre of online theatre, Oppy & Professor Communitas by Five Arts Centre is a thoughtful, humorous, and self-reflective examination of the role and struggle of Malaysian theatremakers. Anchored through a series of workshop lectures, the play centres on Oppy, a young actor and musician who is at a crossroads about …

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The Sound Inside: Duet of life and loss

Filled to the brim at 25% capacity, Singapore Repertory Theatre’s Robertson Quay theatre was cold. The starched whiteness of Petrina Dawn Tan’s set — comprising piles of books that would function effectively as furniture, storage space, and the psychological landscapes of the play’s two characters — added to this austere atmosphere. I didn’t know what …

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