Over the last few years, local theatre companies Drama Box and The Necessary Stage (TNS) have been closely collaborating with each other, resulting in two critically-acclaimed productions – 2016’s Manifesto and 2018’s Underclass. Now, the two companies are set to present the final show in their trilogy of collaborations, with Opposition in March.
“Opposition is a fascinating blend of live and multimedia performance. The narrative looks at the ‘what ifs’ and possibilities of life, the second and third chances we may never get,” explains TNS’ Resident Playwright and Cultural Medallion recipient, Haresh Sharma.
Written by Sharma, Opposition tells the story of Production Manager Ramlah Zee and Director Jackie Oh who begin a new chapter of their lives by establishing their own theatre company, Zero Theatre, whilst concurrently beginning a personal relationship. Yet as time passes and their growth as a unit see them drifting apart, they are compelled to weigh the sacrifices of compromise against their individual desires and truths.
TNS’ Artistic Director and Cultural Medallion recipient, Alvin Tan and Drama Box’s Co-Artistic Director, Young Artist Award and Outstanding Young Person (Culture) recipient, Kok Heng Leun will both don their directing hats once again for Opposition.
“Like Manifesto and Underclass, Opposition looks at the issues of the day. The main difference is how the stories are presented. The story goes deeper into the inter-personal relationships of the characters, their clashing beliefs and choices,” Sharma elaborated. Kok agrees and adds, “This play deals with difficult topics and issues—issues which we have no answer, issues which require seismic shift in our system.”
On their co-directorship, Kok shares, “Alvin always gives a lot of space to his collaborators. His generosity is something I admire and hope to continue to learn from.” Opposition also features award-winning veteran and young artists, some of whom were previously from the Manifesto and Underclass creative team, namely actors Goh Guat Kian and Siti Khalijah Zainal, as well as Costume Designer MAX.TAN.
New additions to the team include cast members Joshua Lim, Masturah Oli, and Tan Guo Lian Sutton, (all three of whom were last seen in TNS’ _____ Can Change in 2021) Sound Designer and Composer Ng Jing, Lighting Designer Genevieve Peck, and Set Designer Wong Chee Wai. Documentary filmmaker Yong Shu Ling, known for her film Unteacheable which won the Audience Choice award at the 2019 Singapore International Film Festival, will embark on her first theatrical project as the production’s Multimedia Designer.
Staged at The Necessary Stage Black Box from 17th March to 3rd April 2022, making it the last production in the venue before TNS leaves Marine Parade Community Club. “It is an unplanned outcome that Opposition is our farewell performance for TNS’ Blackbox. It is ideal for me as the work is one of TNS’s most complex, that touches on the personal, social, political and philosophical,” shares Tan. “It is a work that has not only emerged from collaborative practice—a methodology that we have nurtured and developed over 34 years—but also one from a collaborative practice that has been pushed to a higher level,” he continues.
In our nation’s relentless stride towards material success, is there even space left for them to live freely by their own identities and dreams? When does compromise turn into irrevocable sacrifice of one’s personal truth? Find out, as Opposition premieres this March.
Opposition plays from 17th March to 3rd April 2022 at The Necessary Stage Black Box. Tickets available from BookMyShow
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