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Preview: First Fleet (第一舰队) by Nine Years Theatre


Nine Years Theatre (NYT) is back for their second production of the year with the all new First Fleet. Written by NYT Artistic Director Nelson Chia, First Fleet draws inspiration from Thomas Keneally’s novel The Playmaker, and tells of the journey taken by British officers and convicts as they travelled towards what would become Australia, during the colonial era of convict transportation. Along the way, the Governor gives an unusual instruction – for one of his lieutenants to rehearse a play with the convicts, with the hope of using the power of theatre to rehabilitate them.

First Fleet also takes on an interesting format, with members of the audience seated on the stage of the Cultural Centre’s auditorium along an outline of a ship. The team will then play with the fluid relationships between actor, character, and audience – sharing that stage space with the audience are the actors who will tell stories about a group of officers and convicts (characters) who travel halfway around the globe to build a penal colony, reminiscent of their previous play-within-a-play style explored in Lear Is Dead.

First Fleet features a design team that includes Lim Chin Huat (Set Design), Gabriel Chan (Lighting Design), Jing Ng (Sound Design) and Loo An Ni (Costume Design). Commenting on NYT’s first-time collaboration with Chin Huat and Gabriel, Nelson explains, “As a dancer and choreographer, Chin Huat has a sensibility about the body and design. I have also seen some of Gabriel’s works and understand that he likes to work collaboratively with the director and other designers, which is what I need in this project.”

Starring Nine Years Theatre Ensemble members Mia Chee, Hang Qian Chou, Neo Hai Bin and Timothy Wan, alongside guest actors Shu Yi Ching and Jodi Chan, this July, join Nine Years Theatre as they set sail for foreign lands and face this brave new world together.

First Fleet plays from 18th to 21st July 2019 at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (Level 9). Tickets available from SISTIC

Members of the 9-fans club will be able to purchase a single ticket of First Fleet at $28, with a 15% discount applied for subsequent ticket purchases. Audience aged between 16 to 25 years old will be able to purchase a single ticket at $18 under the Gen-9 club initiative.


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