Preview: Lemmings and The Wedding Pig by The Second Breakfast Company

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The Second Breakfast Company (2BCo) made a splash with their debut, sold out production last year of Leow Puay Tin’s Family, and the young, up and coming theatre company seems to know exactly what direction they’ll be taking with them into the future (they already have their 2018 season more or less planned out too!). Confidently forging ahead in their second year with a strong focus on local playwrights and contributing to the Singapore canon, we can’t wait to catch them in action once again this November as they present two never before staged plays: Myle Yan Tay’s Lemmings and Chelsea Cheo Baoyun’s The Wedding Pig in an exciting Double Bill at Centre 42’s Blackbox.

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The plays were chosen from a pool of 40 scripts submitted to 2BCo as part of an open call conducted earlier this year, and both plays will be directed by company artistic director Adeeb Fazah, who has just recently returned from his international debut from his directorial work on Bhumi Collective’s Last of Their Generation at the 70th Edinburgh Fringe Festival, while the production will star a talented cast consisting of LaSalle graduates Terrance Tan, Rachel Chin, Jelaine Ng Sha-Men, Tia Andrea Guttensohn and Jeramy Lim. Both plays centre on young people in their 20s dealing with familiar, deeply relatable topics, from religious differences to grief, but ultimately, revolve around modern relationships, both romantic and familial.

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Said Adeeb: “For The Second Breakfast Company, we’ve always wanted to shine a spotlight on new work and give some of these writers more exposure with our production. We chose these plays because they resonated strongly with us, and we hope that in watching them, can open up opportunities for conversation surrounding the issues they deal with.”

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The first part of the double bill will feature Yale-NUS student Myle Yan Tay’s Lemmings. Written in 2012 and the second prize winner of Theatreworks’ 24-Hour Playwriting Competition (Youth Category), Lemmings has since gone through several tweaks and tackles tough issues of love and faith. Young couple John and Cassandra (Terrance Tan and Rachel Chin) are, for the most part, happy, but never discuss the dangerous topic of religion, which is probably for the best.

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But after one night’s events, the two are forced to break the silence and put their love to the test as they battle it out with their opposing beliefs. Lemmings promises a long, hard look at the difficulty of discussing religion in a sensitive, volatile environment from a promising new young writer, who has been pretty busy himself, having written and directed a new musical to be staged later in November. From what we’ve seen so far, there’s plenty of food for thought ready to be dished here, touching on the reasons that drive one to believe or dismiss religion in a witty, fast paced script.

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In the second half of the double bill, the company will present Chelsea Cheo Baoyun’s debut play The Wedding Pig. Originally written as Cheo’s submission for her final year project at Yale-NUS College, The Wedding Pig is a dark comedic tale of two sisters whose siblingship is put to the test as a wedding, some holiday magnets and a golden pig come into play to break their familial bonds.

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First presented at the recent Asian Youth Theatre Festival with a different cast and director, Cheo’s script enamoured us with its well rounded characterisation and its sensitive take on mental issues and grief. This time around, sisters Leah and Debbie will be played by Jelaine Ng Sha-Men and Tia Andrea Guttensohn, while Leah’s fiance Zach will be played by Jeramy Lim, and from what we’ve seen, the claws will be out in full in this family drama as tensions run high and these young actors bring out the best (and worst) of their complicated, yet familiar characters.

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With two exciting new local works that are sure to spark keen debate and poignant reflection on family and relationships, The Second Breakfast Company certainly bears plenty of promise as they enter into their second production, and are definitely one to watch out for in the coming years as they continue to empower young voices and coach new talent with their socially relevant productions. Original work is always daunting to present, but we’re completely confident in the team’s ability to bring these pieces to life, so be sure to catch them when they show next week!

Photo Credit: The Second Breakfast Company

Lemmings and The Wedding Pig play at the Centre 42 Blackbox from 2nd – 5th November. Tickets available from SISTIC

You can also extend your support to help out promising new companies 2BCo with this and future productions by donating to their IndieGoGo fundraiser here

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