Theatre shows in Singapore: Plays, musicals and art performances to catch in 2019
Take the stage
Wild Rice is presenting a grand opening season to celebrate the launch of its spanking-new performing arts facility at the state-of-the-art Funan complex. The 358-seat Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre is Singapore's first thrust stage that's inspired by the Royal Shakespeare Company's Swan Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Emily of Emerald Hill
From 4 September
Founding artistic director of Wild Rice and one of Singapore's most acclaimed theatre actors Ivan Heng will reprise his role as Emily Gan, an abandoned girl who overcomes all kinds of adversities to rise to the top of a distinguished Peranakan household.
From 10 October
As Singapore Bicentennial rages on with futile conviction this year, playwrights Alfian Sa'at and Neo Hai Bin have created a bold play that delves into Singapore's problematic relationship with its colonial past through a wealth of forgotten historical documentation and precious artefacts.
From 17 October
Part of Wild Rice's Theatre-in-Education programme, this comedy explores the varying sexist roles that men and women are expected to inhabit in their everyday lives.
Peter Pan in Serangoon Gardens
From 21 November
Disney's Peter Pan gets localised in this quirky interpretation starring Pam Oei as Pete Pan and Siti Khalijah Zainal as Captain Hook.
Urinetown: The Musical
Starring Benjamin Chow, Mina Kayem Sean Ghazi, Adrian Pang
Running from 27 September to 13 October
This award-winning musical satire is set in a dystopian future where a water crisis has led to a ban on private lavatories and the construction of pay-to-pee toilets by an all-powerful corporation. With public peeing offenders being exiled to 'Urinetown', Bobby Strong steps up to lead a revolution against the state, but his movement gets tangled up in a complicated romance.
Running from 17 December 2019 to 5 January 2020
Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands
Andrew Lloyd Webber's recording-breaking musical, CATS, is coming to Singapore for a limited season. The musical is an international phenomenon; it has been presented in over 30 countries, translated into 15 languages, and seen by 30 million people worldwide to date. The musical score that's composed by Andrew Llyod Webber includes the agonizing hit song "Memory" that has been recorded by over 150 artists from Barbra Streinsand and Johnny Mathis to Liberace and Barry Manilow. The musical has been adapted into a star-studded movie, which will be released at the end of this year. That being said, there's nothing quite like seeing it in a glorious theatre.
Singapore Repertory Theatre
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Starring Lea Salonga, Jett Pangan
Running from 28 November to 8 December
Famously brought to life on the silver screen by actor Johnny Depp in 2007, this multi-award-winning (an Academy award, eight Gammys, eight Tonys and a Pulitzer Prize) stage production will arrive in Singapore for the very first time with esteemed actress Lea Salonga leading its cast. This infamous story revolves around Sweeney Todd who returns from exile and plots his revenge by joining forces with pie shop owner Mrs Lovett. The barber introduces a ghastly new ingredient into her pies, and when queues start lining the blocks, the carnage escalates to new level.
The Necessary Stage
We Were so Hopeful Then
Starring Henrik Cheng, Myra Loke, Sindhura Kalidas, Zaaki Nasir
Running from 31 July to 4 August
The fictitious 2025 Singapore Theatre Icon Awards is looking to recognise an industry icon of the year, but it isn't going to be a glamorous actress or generous philanthropist. Instead, it could be the janitor, rigger, or transcriber. This witty production looks at invisibility in our working environment and the implicit biases of public accolades.
Starring Andre Chong, Al-Matin Yatim, Karen Tan, Masturah Oli
Running from 7 August to 11 August
Directed by Haresh Sharma, Acting Mad explores the mental health experiences of actors in Singapore. The production's script was derived from 20 interviews with local actors.
Running from 30 August to 31 August
Centre 42 presents 25 bite-sized performances by local independent theatre-makers including the likes of Singapore's first Indian theatre collective Brown Voices and their latest show, Kitchen Masala, as well as The Women Before Me by Zee Wong, which delves into the world of art and sexual assault. The showcase will also include a food truck by Coffee Bandits, a pop-up book store by BooksActually as well as an interactive dating simulation.
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