Arts Preview Theatre

Preview: Old Gaze by The Necessary Stage

After almost 20 years, The Necessary Stage brings back old friends to present brand new play Old Gaze. Brash, audacious and just rollicking good fun, Old Gaze is the third and final instalment following TNS’ seminal LGBTQ plays Mardi Gras (2003) and Top or Bottom (2004).

“This final installment has been written 19 years later. The three main characters played by Hossan, Kumar and Rody are still in this version, but hardly anyone in the audience would know or remember them. So, it was almost like writing a brand new play,” explains TNS’ Resident Playwright and Cultural Medallion recipient, Haresh Sharma, who is also the playwright and director of the work.

“But I felt a sense of freedom writing Old Gaze; I thought of what I was interested in within the LGBTQIA+ community today, and created a narrative based on these characters. It’s not these characters who have aged 19 years. So have I! And so have the actors,” he elaborates.

In Old Gaze, Faith (Hossan Leong) and Hope’s (Kumar) lives are turned upside down when an old friend shows up suddenly. The episode sees them entangled with everything from spies to their personal histories—all whilst they navigate through becoming seniors themselves and experiencing incredulity at complicated gender pronouns. The play was written before the repeal of Section 377A.

Sharma shared, “When the repeal was announced, I decided to make some tweaks to the script. But to be honest, I’ve not seen enough change on the ground to warrant a celebratory rewrite. If anything, these characters will be even more sceptical about the repeal because of the tightening of other laws.”

Old Gaze stars Kumar, Hossan Leong, and Rody Vera—all three who were the original cast from the earlier LGBTQ+ plays—and Siti Khalijah Zainal, alongside veteran actor Liow Shi Suen and newcomers Azura Farid and Medli Dorothea Loo. Old Gaze also features set design by Vincent Lim, lighting design by Yo Shao Ann and multimedia design by Brian Gothong Tan.

Old Gaze runs from 8th to 12th March 2023 at the Victoria Theatre. Tickets available here

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