Don’t you think it’s high-time that local theatre companies come out with a book of anecdotes?
Just came from Toy Factory’s press conference announcing their shows for their anniversary season (most of which I’ve already reported on before). And to start it off, chief artistic director Goh Boon Teck reminisced about some of the gaffs and hard stuff they’ve had to do when the company was just starting out.
Like rehearsing their first show for an entire year – wherever they could find a place to do so, like “a bohemian touring group seeking help from everybody,” said BT.
Or nine months for their next show – hopping from one condo swimming pool to another, or one pulau to another.
As for their 20th year season salvo, Toy Factory’s coming out with a bang – by basically taking over The Esplanade in August . (But before that, To Kill a Mockingbird is still running for two weeks, and a Vesak Day show on May 28 at the Singapore Expo, where apparently there’ll be a hundred monks onstage. But it’s a commissioned work.)
What’s on for Toy 20 Theatre Festival (which is what they’re calling the whole shebang)?
In case you missed my story last year, here’s a rundown again.
HAILSTONES. A programme of video screenings of past works (Spirits, Big Fool Lee, Titoudao, First Light, Sleepless Town and The Crab Flower Club) from Aug 5 to 7, 3pm and 8pm, at the Esplanade Recital Studio. Each screening will open with an introduction from some of the respective actors/directors/designers who had worked on each of the play.
WHITE SOLILOQUY. A monologue by Nelson Chia as veteran thespian Bai Yan – who’s said to be the consummate performer (who even tried to do magic tricks on a cruise ship) known for his work with then-TCS. I’m quite interested in this one. It’s directed by Jalyn Han based on BT’s script. Nelson mentioned that they went to Bai Yan’s house to interview him and saw three to four stacks of newspaper clippings on him. It’s from Aug 12 to 15 at the Esplanade Theatre Studio.
DECEMBER RAINS. Their big show. It’s a restaging of Singapore’s first Mandarin musical, a story that spans 30 years, from the `50s to the `80s. It stars Jeffery Low, George Chan and, returning to the stage, Kit Chan. It’s from Dec August 6 to 15 at the Esplanade Theatre.
They’re also releasing a four-volume set of 13 original scripts they’ve staged in September, which I think is quite cool. (On a related note, TNS is also soon releasing another of their books, Trilogy, compiling three of Haresh Sharma’s recent plays, including the much-lauded Gemuk Girls).
PS, tickets go on sale tomorrow, March 6, at Sistic.
PPS, I would’ve posted more pix but my blog doesn’t seem to upload .tiff files. So in the meantime, Nelson Chia will be the posterboy for Toy 20. Heh.