ArtsEquator’s Hot List: January 2021

Every first Wednesday of the month, ArtsEquator will release a list of recommended shows/events/programmes that our readers can look out for in that month.

This list in published in no particular order. 


1. M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2021

20 to 31 January 2021

After almost a year of cancelled shows, we’re happy for the return of a familiar favourite. Most of the live shows are sold out (you can still snag a ticket if you’re lucky), but there are plenty of opportunities to catch livestreamed performances. Also check out international shows such as i am not here by The Lost Post Initiative and Snow Whitening Revisited by New Cambodian Artists. 



2. Singapore Art Week 2021

22 to 30 January 2021

Is it just us, or is SAW bigger than ever this year? If 100 arts events by 300 artists sound like a lot, you can also be strategic. Shows that caught our eye include Campur, Tolak, Kali, Bahagi, Sama Dengan (Add, Subtract, Multiply, Divide, Equals)an exhibition of work by the late Roslisham (Ise) Ismail at NTU CCA; and Inner Like The OutAR, what sounds like a trip and is actually a show using AR on our phones. Also catch reliable favourites like S.E.A. Focus 2021, State of Motion and OH Open House‘s For the House; Against the House.



3. SAGA: The AWARE podcast 

Where were you? We recommend this well-produced, highly gripping (and frankly, WTF in a good way) podcast series, documenting the events of the 2009 AWARE Saga, when a conservative Christian group tried to take over the secular gender equality organisation. 11 of the 12 episodes have been released.



4. Raffles Renounced: Towards a Merdeka History

Pre-order: 4 to 29 January 2021

It seems everyone and their history teacher is pre-ordering this book. What is a “Merdeka History”? If the definition of “merdeka” is anything to go by (“free from colonialisation” is one suggestion), we can’t wait to crack open our copies. Edited by Alfian Sa’at, Faris Joraimi and Sai Siew Min, this book is currently open for pre-ordering. You can even catch an online version of the play Merdeka / 獨立 / சுதந்திரம் if you get the bundled deal.



5. Mahsuri (& Other Peculiar Tales) 

8 to 10 January 2021

This ticketed short film by British Malaysian musical theatre company Liver & Lung is based on the legendary epic, Mahsuri, and the company’s BOH Cameronian Arts Award-winning stage production of the same name. Five youths are transported to 18th century Langkawi in this musical featuring sounds inspired by South and Southeast Asia. If you liked Sepet The Musical, chances are you’ll like this.




Some honourable mentions:

Satirical webshow The Late Night Show with Xiao Ming. 8-10 Jan

Dystopian Singapore film Tiong Bahru Social Club. Run extended to 13 Jan

Befouled Desire, an online conversation about art and extraction, organised by The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre. 30 January

#THEATRE by INDEX and Esplanade Theatre, a work with sound, light and space as the main points of exploration. 14-17 Jan

If you like escape rooms and jump scares, Murder at Mandai Camp: The Case Reopens. Run extended to 16 Jan


ArtsEquator is introducing three new series in 2021 – Hot List, Teaser Tuesday and Cakap-Cakap – to help promote shows, events and other arts and culture programmes in Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia. Read here for more. 

To submit a show/event/programme for consideration for any our new three series, you must fill in this form. All entries to be featured must be submitted by the 15th of the preceding month. ArtsEquator reserves the right not to publish any information that is shared, at our editorial discretion.

Tags: hot list

About the author(s)

Nabilah Said

Nabilah Said is an award-winning playwright, editor and cultural commentator. She is also an artist who works with text across various artforms and formats. Her plays have been staged in Singapore and London, including ANGKAT, which won Best Original Script at the 2020 Life Theatre Awards. Nabilah is the former editor of ArtsEquator.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top