A THOUSAND WAYS_Image courtesy of Maria Baranova (2)
Image: Maria Baranova

Year-end SIFA Spotlight: 5 things you should catch

The unabashedly virtual edition of SIFA just launched its slate of year-end programmes, marked by dreamy and lush audioscapes, compelling narratives, and encounters with the audience in places both personal and private. We recommend five events to catch.  

Image courtesy of Tan Shou Chen
A Bird Calls You To Moscow

What it is: Playwright Joel Tan and director Tan Shou Chen team up to create a solo ambulatory audio experience which asks of you to become archeologist and explorer, in a tale that touches on the architecture of loss, heartbreak, and a city long gone, one millenia from now. The three episodes are accompanied by the music of Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky, played by pianist Albert Tiu. The show is a response to Nine Years Theatre’s adaptation of Three Sisters.

Why you should check this out: If the koel bird and restless wandering elicits longing in you, this immersive experience might be something up your ennui alley. Uwu. 

When: Sat 17 Oct 2020, 12pm

Where: Various. While you can listen to the episodes anywhere, these are the suggested locales –

Episode 1: A room where love sleeps, or that of an ex-lover’s 

Episode 2: A park where the trees are old 

Episode 3: A circular ride on public transport

Admission: Free



Image by Moses Tan
The Silence of a Falling Tree

What it is: The Tree, The Falling and The Silence are the names of three sonic tracks that invite you to contemplate isolation, existence and presence. Brought to you by new collective COMPOUND, led by multidisciplinary artist Irfan Kasban, this experience is akin to guided meditation, comprising dialogue, instructions, field recordings, compositions and Foley, that may offer a journey towards transcendence. 

Why you should check this out: If you’ve ever asked yourself, what is the sound of a falling tree in a lonely forest?, this sounds perfect for you.

When: 22 Nov (Track 1 – The Tree); 29 Nov (Track 2 – The Falling); and 6 Dec (Track 3 – The Silence) 2020

Where: Various. Participants will be given recommended locations for each of the three tracks. 

Admission: Free


Image courtesy of Maria Baranova
A Thousand Ways: A Phone Call

What it is: How might you make contact with a stranger? In the first of a three-part immersive theatre performance, you will share a phone line with a stranger as a narrator guides you through a set of instructions. This performance is by the Obie Award-winning theatremaking duo 600 HIGHWAYMEN, whose work looks at civic encounters as sites of performance. The second and third performances, An Encounter and An Assembly will take place in 2021. 

Why you should watch it: You like the idea of being the actor and the audience. No training required – showing up is an act of bravery. 

When: 5 to 22 Nov 2020

Where: Your home

Admission: $20 a phone call



Courtesy of Planeswalker
Sound Social Series

What it is: On three Wednesdays in December, sound artists Planeswalker, Zul Mahmod and weish of .gif will create their own soundscapes using their personal blend of organic instrument building, technical finesse and performance styles. For example, Zul Mahmod will draw on his experience of creating sound sculptures with driftwood and electronic circuits, and Planeswalker’s work will envelope the audience in a hallucinatory, sonic-visual world. 

Why you should watch it: This is one of those uber-cool sound journeys that promises to be both profoundly sublime yet intimate. 

When: 9, 16 & 23 Dec 2020

Where: Goodman Arts Centre Blackbox

Admission: $15/$20/$25 (pay-as-you-wish)


Image courtesy of mrbrown


the mrbrown show LIVE!

What it is: We’ve seen theatre go digital, but what happens when an internet show goes to the theatre? The popular mrbrown show, known for its satirical humour and commentary on Singapore life, will be transformed into a livestream concert directed by music producer James Lye. Expect skits and even song and dance from Singapore’s Blogfather, with the help of his longtime writing collaborators, poet Marc Nair and blogger Mr Miyagi. 

Why you should watch it: To see this equation come to life: mrbrown + theatre = ??? Tickets aren’t on sale yet but we’re already high-key intrigued. 

When: 25 to 27 Dec 2020

Where: KC Arts Centre

Admission: Tickets will be on sale at a later date


For more information on the programmes of SIFA v2.02020, please click here.

This article is sponsored by the Singapore International Festival of the Arts.

Tags: SIFA  sifa 2020

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.

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