The Esplanade’s 15th Anniversary celebrations aren’t letting up anytime soon, and their annual The Studios season returns this March and April with four all new works and one reworked production by some of the brightest talents working in Singapore today. Themed Between Living and Dying, the works invite audience members to probe deeper about issues of life, death and everything in between.
Opening the season on 29th March is A Good Death, an all new work written by Faith Ng and directed by Chen Yingxuan. Starring veteran actress Karen Tan, the play follows a palliative care doctor as she journeys with her patients through their final days, bringing up questions of just what exactly it is that makes life worth living, and how to end it all on a proper, dignified note.
In the following week, Kaylene Tan will be presenting In The Silence of Your Heart. Written and directed by Tan and performed by Jalyn Han and Tan Hui Er, Kaylene returns to her roots in spell#7 and produces a unique, meditative and operatic in-ear audio experience (featuring the voice of Lim Kay Tong). In this piece, the audience will be privy to the private thoughts and memories of a man who has been paralyzed for the last 13 years.
Michelle Tan’s I Am Trying To Say Something True will premiere the week after that, and marks the exciting return of ITI co-founder T. Sasitharan directing a public work. Starring Ellison Tan Yuyang, I Am Trying To Say Something True touches on spaces between people and places, gaps between past and present and is all about living in the gulf between what is known and what is felt.
Taking a momentary break from new works, the week after will see beloved theatre actress Siti Khalijah Zainal reprise her role in Zizi Azah’s critically acclaimed How Did the Cat Get So Fat? First staged in 2006 by Teater Ekamatra, this new version will be directed by Finger Players co-founder Tan Beng Tian and performed with puppetry, taking a critical look at how our national pledge applies and manifests itself throughout Singapore’s social stratas, as seen through the eyes of a young girl.
Finally, The Studios 2018 ends off with Life! Theatre Award winning thespian Edith Podesta in a new solo work titled Leda and The Rage. Podesta’s works frequently allude to and reference classical works and myths, and this deeply personal work is no different, suggesting links to the Greek myth of Zeus coming to the mortal realm in the guise of a swan to seduce the eponymous Leda. Set against the backdrop of art, literature and film, Leda and the Rage is an examination of the daily struggles of people living with post-traumatic stress disorder and the story of one woman’s journey to recovery.
Each and every season of The Studios over the last 14 years has been phenomenal in its own way, and the upcoming 2018 season looks to delve deeper than ever into issues and themes that will leave you shaking at their sheer power and relevance. We’ll be bringing you individual, more in depth previews of each show, with interviews with the cast and creative in the coming weeks, and of course, reviews of the first performance of each work, so watch this space for coverage, and our personal takes on this incredible journey into the realms of life, death and everything that lies in the middle.
The Studios 2018: Between Living and Dying plays at the Esplanade Theatre Studio from 29th March to 29th April. Tickets and full lineup available from the Esplanade. For updates on the works, follow The Studios on Facebook