Arts Preview Singapore

Preview: Flipside 2021 by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

After a heavy year that’s been full of downs, it’s time to take a walk on the lighter side of things, as Flipside returns to Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay this May. Following an abrupt cancellation last year due to the pandemic, Flipside is back as a hybrid digital and live festival, with a whole host of innovative programmes to put a smile on your face.

Circus acts, puppetry and physical theatre have always been core parts of Flipside, and this year, you’ll be able to catch some high-flying circus performers live at the Aerial Open Stage, featuring 16 Singapore aerialists, while Bornfire Circus brings you juggling, hoop acts and more. You can even learn how to do it yourself with their 2-ball and 3-ball juggling workshops. Speaking of balls, Circus In Motion presents ping pong as an art form with Ping Pong Circus.

On the theatre front, How Drama (known for their signature Fat Kids Are Harder To Kidnap sketch comedy show) presents a brand new show. Held at both the Esplanade Theatre Studio and over Zoom, Big Brown Girl follows Ruby, as she searches for a special someone in her life. Help Ruby choose the story you want to heart in the hour-long production, as she’s swept off her feet by various men, from Singaporeans to Malaysians, a Parisian DJ and even a Nigerian man with a dark secret. No two shows are the same, and it’s up to you to decide who she’ll open her heart to.

In Playing The Hand, magicians Darren and Jerryl invites audiences to tune out the world and embark on an intimate online journey of magic, misdirection and mystery that will tickle the eye of your mind, in a virtual magic show set to have you re-examining perception and reality itself – all from the comfort of a cosy living room.

Indonesia’s Papermoon Puppet Theatre’s I Know Something That You Don’t Know is a non-verbal binaural mask-and-puppet performance that will be presented to one person in private. All you have to do it turn off the light, sit by yourself, put your headphones on and watch it on your own, as we follow an old man who is surrounded by his children, who are all in mourning after the loss of a beloved one.

On the comedy front, join the Safe Distancing Clowns in Spaced Out and relive your worst online conference call nightmares in SABOSTAGE: ZoomBaaBo!, taking place live at the Esplanade Concourse. Miss going to Teo Heng? PowerPoint Karaoke presents Flip Sides, an improv show where guest artists and comedy presenters have to make up a whole presentation about topics you suggest.

Or perhaps escape from it all with the outrageous Ang Mo Pai, as Natalie Yeap, Candice de Rozario and Rino Junior John come onstage as three odd, colourful creatures, half lion, half fish as they sing strange songs you can’t help but listen to for their sheer weirdness. And if you really need a break, take a walk on your own with self-guided tour Note To Self by Artwave Studio.

“At the core of it all, Flipside is a reminder that play, laughter and presence offer valuable respite and a means to cope,” says producer Shireen Abdullah.

“Pandemic realities have dampened our pursuit of delight in many ways, so being able to invite you and our artists back to Esplanade to share the same space again—to laugh, be amazed and be inspired—is a privilege we all look forward to.”

Flipside 2021 runs from 28th May to 6th June 2021. Tickets and full programme available here

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