Hello August 2017

Published on 26 July 2017

There’s plenty of reason to party! In addition to the annual National Day Parade extravaganza and NS50 commemorating the fifth decade of national service, the Singapore Night Festival turns 10 while a brand-new Civic District Outdoor Festival makes its debut!

By JO TAN

M1 PEER PLEASURE YOUTH THEATRE FESTIVAL

Peer into the perspectives of creatives aged 13 to 25 with this annual festival celebrating theatre made by the young under the guidance of stage stalwarts. Highlights include a commissioned piece by a young emerging playwright on interracial relationships in Singapore, a youth collective presenting an original crowd-sourced piece on mental-health issues, and actors from the Down Syndrome Association (Singapore) performing a devised piece on refugees. 22 July-5 August, various times, various venues at the Esplanade. Details here.

FORBIDDEN CITY — PORTRAIT OF AN EMPRESS

Get an intimate glimpse of the Forbidden City — the secret world of the Chinese Imperial Palace under the legendary Empress Dowager Cixi — through this restaging of the lavish production often described as Singapore’s most successful original musical. Starring Kit Chan, Cheryl Tan and Sebastian Tan. 8-27 August, Tue-Fri 8pm, Sat 3pm & 8pm, Sun 1.30pm & 6pm (9 August show will be held at 2pm instead of 8pm), Esplanade Theatre. Tickets here.

KOKO THE GREAT

Adapted from Natalie Hennedige’s children’s book Koko the Great, in turn inspired by Singapore artist Liu Kang’s painting ‘Life by the River’, this production gives little ones a picturesque shot of culture as they adventure with Koko, a kampung boy armed with a pot, a spatula, and a whole river to indulge his imagination with. 11-27 August, various times, Esplanade Theatre Studio. Tickets here.

M1 CHINESE THEATRE FESTIVAL

This annual festival of Chinese-language theatre returns, once again with offerings from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and more, packed into cosy, intimate spaces. Expect everything from cutting-edge multimedia to whimsical puppetry and classic epics. 3-27 August, various times, Centre 42 & The Theatre Practice. Details here.

FUNNYMAN: HOSSAN LEONG

Dubbed The Singapore Boy for his relatable humour, Hossan Leong is now all grown up. The actor/comedian with over two decades of performance experience is now 48, incidentally, the same age as his character Malcolm Png in the long-awaited sequel to Army Daze. Catch the mature side of this dynamo, as he reprises his role of Malcolm the soldier, who is now older, wiser, a dad and high-ranking army officer. Army Daze 2 runs from 4-20 August, Tue-Fri 8pm, Sat 3pm & 8pm, Sun 3pm (additional 3pm show on 10 August), Drama Centre Theatre. Tickets here.

HOSSAN’S HISTORY

A generally good student and president of the gardening society, Leong left the conventional path of education after failing his ‘O’ Level Chinese exams four times.

Shortly after Leong started working in theatre, playwright Haresh Sharma wrote the comedy Talk especially for him. Leong later catapulted into the public eye playing Sponge on popular Singapore sitcom, Under One Roof.

A fluent French speaker, he was conferred the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) in 2010 by the French government for his achievements in the arts.

‘ROARING GOOD TIMES 10’ CROSS TALK SHOW

Showing how more talk and less action can be good, the talents of the Young People’s Performing Arts Ensemble match wits through cross-talk — the classic Chinese art of comic duologue. Expect the material to be sassy and thoroughly Singaporean. 4 & 5 August, 8pm, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre Auditorium. Tickets here.

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA — SYMPHONY OF THE GODDESSES

It’s been over three decades since gaming classic and global mega-hit The Legend of Zelda burst on the scene. In this incredible show, the game’s epic soundtracks are performed by a full orchestra and choir, to the accompaniment of a cinematic video presentation of scenes from the Zelda universe. 26 August, 7.30pm, Grand Theatre at Marina Bay Sands. Tickets here.

JEANE REVEENDRAN

This US-based Singaporean performer has done it all, from recording a single to producing a travel food show, to being a chef, and, of course, acting and hosting. She will be performing with real-life best friend Elizabeth Lazan in Whale Fall by playwright Faith Ng, part of the double-bill that is The Orange Production, a platform where young artists present work under the guidance of The Necessary Stage’s Alvin Tan and Haresh Sharma (see p18). 10-13 August, 8pm, The Necessary Stage Black Box. Tickets here.

MULTI-TALENTED PURSUITS

Jeane Reveendran has…

  • Worked as a sous chef for a New York caterer.
    – Recorded the single ‘Leave the Fight’, available on Amazon.
    – Contributed her writing to One Imperative magazine.
    – Hosted various programmes including Something to Write Home About, the 2015 Singapore Arts Festival in New York.
    – Produced/directed travel food show Crack the Cookie Code, where she and her co-host travel the USA to discover Chinese fusion food not actually available in Asia.

“When I have some time off, I like to go to Mustafa Centre by myself. There’s something really therapeutic about wandering around a huge store like that, reading labels and discovering new things. BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD!”

MAIMUNAH BAGHARIB, ACTOR/HOST

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