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Preview: Gallery of Secrets – The Lost Lily by The Theatre Practice and National Gallery Singapore

Over the pandemic period, The Theatre Practice (Practice) has been taking a deep dive into the world of digital theatre, resulting in works such as hybrid murder mystery The Bride Always Knocks Twice. This April, they’ve progressed once again, and are set to present a brand new multi-platform treasure hunt for you to embark on – Gallery of Secrets: The Lost Lily.

Co-presented with National Gallery Singapore (NGS), Gallery of Secrets: The Lost Lily takes inspiration from NGS’ artworks and history, and blends cinematography, theatrical performance and game mechanics into a single experience. Watch as a seemingly ordinary donation ceremony is interrupted when the unveiling of a lost masterpiece reveals decades-old secrets.

Taking up to two weeks to complete, audiences watch the action unfold onscreen with Chapter 1: The Painting, before diving headfirst into Chapter 2: The Hunt, where they are tasked to explore the gallery to solve puzzles, and interview characters to find the treasure. Finally, all mysteries will be revealed in the final film instalment, Chapter 3: The Treasure. And there’s even further incentive – just like how The Bride Always Knocks Twice – Killer Secrets featured a prize for those who successfully cracked the case, the fastest to identify the treasure’s location in Gallery of Secrets stands a chance to win real treasure, with up to S$1,800 cash up for grabs.

“People were literally spending days compiling pages of research to crack the case!” recalls Artistic Director Kuo Jian Hong, on previous digital experience The Bride Always Knocks Twice — Killer Secrets. “Our aim is always to create a great game AND a great show. We’re excited to build a new world for participants to fall in love with, and a fresh mystery to torture them with!”

No stranger to boundary-pushing works and artistic exploration, Practice seems to have found a winning formula, with the success of The Bride Always Knocks Twice — Killer Secrets; in just a week, the show reached more than 3,000 audiences in 16 countries, far more than most theatre capacities under current pandemic restrictions. “Digital theatre presents an opportunity to reach large numbers of audiences, without the restrictions of physical space or geographical boundaries,” notes Practice’s Executive Director Daniel Goh.

Audiences can choose to either enjoy it as a fully digital experience or a physical-digital hybrid, where participants can physically visit NGS to search for clues. Audience members who opt for the physical edition even get to enjoy a delicious “Alistair’s Elixir”, Smoke & Mirrors’ special Gallery of Secrets inspired cocktail, that combines apple brandy, equal parts almond, apricot and cherry liqueurs, Moscato, and a touch of milk with fresh orange.

“National Gallery Singapore is delighted to collaborate with The Theatre Practice on this unique art experience that allows us to engage with diverse audiences in novel and exciting ways. Through Gallery of Secrets: The Lost Lily, we hope that audiences will be able to encounter the arts and our storied architecture in a new light, as we embrace multidisciplinary storytelling and all its possibilities through this innovative partnership,” says Ms Suenne Megan Tan, Senior Director, Museum Planning and Audience Engagement, National Gallery Singapore.

Headed by Kuo Jian Hong, Gallery of Secrets also features a stellar team of theatre veterans and film industry stalwarts, including Director of Photography Rachel Liew and production designer Daniel Lim, alongside playwrights Jonathan Lim and Liu Xiao Yi, filmmaker and producer Kat Goh and film score producer and composer Joe Ng. All this builds on the success of Practice’s previous work, and promises a production with rich theatricality, outstanding performances and stunning visual design, ideal for escape room enthusiasts and gamers, history buffs intent on sinking their teeth into local history, and of course, theatre lovers who enjoy a good show. Will you be the one to find the lost lily? Find out, when you dive into the Gallery of Secrets.

Gallery of Secrets: The Lost Lily runs from 4th to 18th April 2022. Tickets and more information available here

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