One of my initial reactions to Man Singapore Theatre Festival 2011 was that the line-up seemed kind of sparse compared to previous editions.
Well, that really wouldn’t matter much for theatre buffs because we’ve just found out that there’s another theatre festival taking place immediately after that.
The Theatre Practice is staging its very own Chinese Theatre Festival from August 25 to September 19.
That means back-to-back theatre festivals in two months!
The Mandarin theatre company will be presenting four ticketed productions and a couple of free ones at Iluma in Bugis. They’ll mostly be held at a new black box performance space that was announced earlier today, the Joyden Hall, which is also the presenting/venue sponsor.
So yes, if you want to go on a theatre fest marathon and combine both festivals, you’ll be a happy theatre zombie all the way `til September.
TELL TALES SING SONGS (Aug 25 to 28)
Imagine December Rains, Lao Jiu, If There’re Seasons, Liao Zhai Rocks! and 881: The Musical all packed into one night. That’s what this Singapore Mandarin musical concert co-directed by Kuo Jian Hong will apparently be as songs from these five musicals (Lao Jiu having been adapted into one) will be performed. Still got last song syndrome from 881: The Musical? Joanna Dong (picture) will be one of the performers.
THE STORY AFTER AH Q (Sept 8 to 18)
TTP teams up with PIP Theatre and O Theatre of Hong Kong to re-imagine Lu Xun’s novella The True Story Of Ah Q in the 1920s about what happens to the rural peasant Ah Q, stretching from 1911 all the way until today. Directed by Olivia Yan.
THE HAPPY PRINCE (Sept 1 to 4)
A children’s puppet play adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s short story by Taiwan group Puppet And Its Double Theatre.
AM I CRYING (Sept 1 to 4)
A piece using paper puppets and traditional paper-cuttings about the Chinese folk tale of Lady Meng Jiang, whose husband died while helping construct the Great Wall. Another piece perfect for kids by Hong Kong’s Lau Ming Hang and his team.
Aside from the ticketed shows, you’ve also free events like a talk by Olivia Yan on how they devised The Story After Ah Q on Aug 27; TTP’s annual improve storytelling contest The Story Challenge on Aug 27 to 28 and Sept 3 to 4 and one of their touring school shows Waste Not, Want Not on Sept 10 and 11.
As for the new blackbox space, I haven’t seen it yet but according to someone who was there this morning, it looked pretty good. Apparently it can seat between 400 to 550 peeps. I’m assuming it’ll be a new venue possibility for performing arts groups, so they can check out Joyden Hall’s official website here or call 6884 3480.