Following two years of almost exclusively making digital theatre, The Theatre Practice (Practice) is back to live, with two original black box works: almost home by Practice Associate Artist Ng Mun Poh, and Extinction Feast by Practice Tuckshop this September.
Initially conceptualised and staged in 2021, the works mark a new age of Singapore’s post- pandemic theatre. The first edition of both works were originally staged in non-traditional performance spaces and with an intimate audience size, and both received rave reviews and sold out shows— Extinction Feast at Singapore Writers Festival 2021 and almost home (formerly known as Daughter) as part of Practice’s It’s Not About The Numbers series. Now freed from pandemic restrictions, both sets of creators have now been given the opportunity to scale the works up for a larger black-box setting.
In almost home, Kuala Lumpur-born, Singapore-based Ng Mun Poh shares the story of how she has spent the last 18 years of her life travelling between her two “homes”. In a poignant monodrama equal parts heartfelt and humorous, almost home dramatises the struggle of finding her place in a home where nothing, and yet so much has changed, questioning what home really means.
A first version of the work, Daughter, was received with rave reviews as part of Practice’s It’s Not About The Numbers series in September 2021. It has since been brilliantly reimagined for a blackbox stage in collaboration with director Yeo Lyle and dramaturg Neo Hai Bin.
“The first version of almost home was created when borders were closed. Now that the world has opened up, it’s interesting to excavate how our relationship to ‘going home’ has changed again and how it will shape the story we are telling,” says Mun Poh.
Meanwhile, in Extinction Feast, which was first staged to a sold-out run at Singapore Writers’ Festival 2021, director Ang Xiao Ting assembles an international team of collaborators to create a multidisciplinary theatrical feast combining performance, multimedia and live foley sound art.
Inspired by essay collection Eating Chilli Crab in the Anthropocene, Extinction Feast is a playful black comedy about Asian culture, fish consumption and our pesky conscience, as protagonist Jeff engages with his family over what the ‘right’ thing to do is over a family dinner. Blending storytelling and dining, the production also features canapes by Singapore fish farm Ah Hua Kelong.
“We have performer Vester Ng joining us, plus an epic ecologically-conscious creative team.” says Extinction Feast director Ang Xiao Ting, who has a practice in Eco-Theatre. “Digital theatre has also deepened our understanding of how different artistic expressions like film and live performance can work together, so we’re really excited to perform this show for a much larger audience.”
“We tell stories to make sense of a world that can be complicated and terrifying.” notes Practice’s Artistic Director Kuo Jian Hong. “Our new realities need to be reflected in new stories, and for generations Practice has been a platform for artists to do just that.”