Arts Review Singapore

SIFA v2.020: Poetry Under The Southern Bough by Toy Factory Productions (Live Performance Pilot)

Screenshot 2020-09-30 at 7.01.48 PM

Presented by Arts House Limited (AHL), Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) v2.020 will be premiering newly commissioned work Poetry Under the Southern Bough by Toy Factory Productions, as part of the new wave of live performance pilots initiated by the National Arts Council. 

A hybrid event comprising live performance and virtual streaming, watch as the contemporary performance weaves tapestries of dance, opera, music and theatre to celebrate the elegant poetry of Tang Xianzu, bringing audiences on a journey through the dreamscapes of 20 selected poems from A Dream Under the Southern Bough. Performed in Mandarin with English surtitles, this 45-minute multi-disciplinary show will take place at Drama Centre Theatre on 10th October 2020 at 3pm and 8pmConcurrently, the festival will also sell tickets for a digital live stream which will allow for the show to be enjoyed by a wider audience. 

Festival Director Gaurav Kripalani shares: “After six months of arts venues being closed, I’m delighted that SIFA will be presenting one of the first shows with a live audience. Having commissioned Toy Factory to stage the three-year trilogy of A Dream Under the Southern Bough, we look forward to working with them on this complementary work.”

Available to a maximum audience of 50 per show, extensive measures will be incorporated to safeguard all performers and audiences. These include enhanced cleaning of the theatre, compulsory checking in of SafeEntry and temperature screening, observing a three-metre distance between performers and audience, one-metre spacing between audience members, and no intermission.  

SIFA will also trial the new intelligent “bubble-wrap” seating technology in SISTIC’s booking engine during this pilot. Patrons may purchase seats for groups up to five and the system will ensure that neighbouring seats to the left, right, front and back are kept vacant to ensure safe distancing measures are adhered to.

To get a deeper understanding of the history of the play, audiences can also tune in to Tang Xianzu: Rebirthing Of A 400-Year Old Dream. This animation video traces the life of one of China’s greatest dramatists – Tang Xianzu and his most well-known work, A Dream Under the Southern Bough. The Mandarin version of this video will also be available on SIFA All-Access from 2nd November 2020.

Poetry Under the Southern Bough will be available from 10th October 2020, accessible through the SIFA All-Access online platformSubscribe to the SIFA newsletter and visit for weekly news and updates on SIFA v2.020. 

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