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Preview: M1 Patch! A Theatre Festival of Artful Play by The Theatre Practice

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Following the previous edition of their annual Chinese Theatre Festival, The Theatre Practice (TTP) has decided to go in a different direction this year, and will instead be presenting the brand new M1 Patch! A Theatre Festival of Artful Play throughout August!

The concept of play is a core part of The Theatre Practice’s philosophy, driving its growth as a theatre company and to encapsulate the pedagogy of a child-oriented arts education, making Patch! a festival all about growth through the power of artful play, taking creative risks with no fear of failure.  

In its inaugural edition, the festival will be showcasing a series of quality productions, fringe events and workshops centred around the concept of thoughtful play. Expect to see local and international works that are both experimental and family friendly, pushing the boundaries of aesthetics and assuring audiences an unexpected experience at the festival.

The festival will be headlined by three main productions. Opening the festival is The Theatre Practice’s new original show Immortalx on 1st August. Directed by TTP artistic director Kuo Jian Hong, this action-comedy coming of age story follows the adventures of three teenaged deities from Chinese mythology as they grow up and find a place in this world where it isn’t always obvious how to fit in. 

Another highlight of the festival would no doubt be new devised work The Ordinary and The Unspectacular, a theatrical performance focusing on the agelessness of play. The Ordinary and The Unspectacular will be directed by Kuo Jian Hong’s sister, Okorn-Kuo Jing Hong, and star their mother Goh Lay Kuan, alongside a group of veteran performers including Julius Foo, Jalyn Han and Lok Meng Chue, as they contemplate on the ordinary happenings in everyday life, magnifying each snapshot in time to bring out new meaning in the simplest of routines.

The final performance headlining Patch! is Taiwan’s multi-award nominated Flying Group Theatre with the family-friendly Utopiazooa fantastic puppetry, mask and shadow play that explores migration. In this family-friendly fable, watch as a little horse leaves his hometown and travels to a faraway valley, only to find himself unwelcome by the existing residents. When a terrible disaster happens, the tables are turned and the valley residents become migrants themselves when they take refuge in an all new utopia. Will they be able to fit in?

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In addition, Patch! will also feature activities for artistic training – TTP has invited theatre master Philippe Gaulier down from France to conduct a master class on clowning, while they will also be organising Artist Farm, a residency where nine artists will be confined to The Theatre Practice Rehearsal Studio as they undergo training and skill exchanges, creative sparring and development before finally presenting a series of presentations and dialogues.

Other peripheral activities happening throughout August include storytelling sessions with My Daddy Is A Dragon King, nursery rhyme sing-alongs, an open air cinema screening of The Soldier and His Virtuous Wife, and even an interactive ‘virtual world’ come alive in Chop Chilli Chop Co.’s Round Round Buns. This August, whether you’re an adult, young at headt or child, come discover and re-discover the value and variety of play in The Theatre Practice’s lineup of programmes at the inaugural M1 Patch! A Theatre Festival of Artful Play.

M1 Patch! A Theatre Festival of Artful Play runs from 1st – 31st August 2018. For more details and tickets, visit The Theatre Practice

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