Throw everything you ever thought you know about the arts and flip it on its head with the Esplanade’s 2018 Flipside season. This year, themed Play Imagine Innovate, watch as the most unexpected spaces in the Esplanade come to life with unconventional art over the 10 day festival. Over 200 performances and activities will be made available for the general public to partake in, with genres ranging from comedy to interactive art installation, to the undefinable, displaying the latest technological innovations and all new theatrical languages.
This year, Flipside will be headlined by four key ticketed programmes. On the sonic end of things, come experience Paul Dresher and Daniel Schmidt’s Sound Maze, a sound based installation where audiences can watch inventive new musical instruments and sound sculptures come to life when you touch them. Check out “The Peacock”, a fan-shaped array of wooden keys extracted from a deconstructed pipe organ, and “The Octagon”, a large steel hoop that spins on an octagonal, amplified wooden pedestal, and create your very own unique concert in this session for all ages. Meanwhile, local composer and music director Julian Wong will be presenting Sensing the dark, an ethereal concert featuring live music and vocals, both original and familiar tunes, taking place completely in the dark.
This year, Flipside will also be bringing in two unique puppetry performances from Europe. From Belgium comes Tof Theatre’s Dans I’Atelier & Chantier Frigolite, where families watch as an unfinished puppet decides to complete creating itself after a botched construction. Audiences can also take part in a workshop conducted by the award-winning team behind Tof and create their own styrofoam puppet (no promises on whether it’ll come to life though!). From UK comes Rouge28 Theatre, with performer Aya Nakamura presenting the traditional Japanese myth of Urashima Taro, the tale of a poor fisherman who goes on an adventure deep under the ocean as his reward for saving a turtle, and combines puppetry, shadow play and video projection to tell this story of lust, obsession, betrayal and loss.
In addition, there’ll be plenty of free programmes and performances happening all around the Esplanade as well. Along the Waterfront, look out for Australia’s Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, as they present String Symphony, with a giant illuminated puppet created from a kilometre of rope and 600 LED lights, and up to 12 people are encouraged to come together and control this puppet, accompanied by a brilliant light and sound show. Be sure to also explore the entirety of the Flipside programme and the Esplanade grounds to discover gems such as actress Rebekah Sangeetha Dorai as she performs improvised singing, local circus troupe Bornfire presenting theatre-circus show UNBOX, and even a roving tree puppet by Frankie Malachi and Bright Ong, amongst plenty more activities to be enjoyed.
Flipside runs at the Esplanade from 25th May – 4th June. For full programme lineup and tickets, visit their website here