This theatre carnival is the logical continuation of the Retrospective of Singapore Plays which Theatreworks presented in November – December 1990. Instead of looking back at plays of the past, Theatre Carnival on the Hill focuses on new writing. The result is an interesting diversity – a potpourri of honesty, social concerns, sexual politics, human relationships, stories, melodrama and theatricality.
But more than a festival of new writing, it is a ‘people festival’ based on the carnival concept, designed for a fresh audience, who will be introduced to youthful, exuberant theatre and new ways of enjoying themselves. It will give the audience the choice and free will to do what they want throughout a two week duration. It is a ‘people festival’ based on mass participation without discrimination – the ‘indie’ music, the theatre, the dance and mime will be extremely raw. With this festival, we will welcome and embrace all groups who have expressed an interest in being a part of it. It is a ‘people festival’ in that we are hosting many other theatre and arts groups with different backgrounds. The carnival will allow the mainstream and the alternative to co-exist side by side. It will provide a platform for new young talents and it will see the introduction of more new faces than ever before. We have tied up with Victoria Junior College’s Theatre Studies Department and the British Council expressly to provide a stepping-out for the enthusiastic and the new. As an older company, we realise our responsibility to provide opportunities, and to find new ways of connecting with our audiences.
5 Eric Khoo Videos (19, 21, 23 & 25 April 1992)
The five videos capture the breaking of the local new wave music scene last year. All songs are original compositions, and two – So Happy and Sexy Little Boy – were #1 hits.
8 Playlets (18 – 19 April 1992)
This series of playlets are a preliminary practical for the Theatre Studies students at Victoria Junior College before their Cambridge G.C.E. ‘A’ Levels in July, under the supervision of teacher-in-charge Mr Rey Buono.
Albert K S Lim (15 – 26 April 1992, The Gallery)
Albert Lim is a self-taught photographer who has photographed numerous TheatreWorks productions. A three-time Tourism Award winner for the Best Photographer of the Year (1987 – 1989), Albert has spoken on numerous occasions for Nikon, the Reservist Association, and the National University of Singapore.
Alex Abisheganaden & Trio (15 April 1992)
Alex Abisheganaden is currently teaching music at the La Salle School. He has been promoting music since the 1950’s and won the Cultural Medallion for Music in 1988. He teaches part-time at the National University of Singapore’s Centre for Musical Activities. Alex will be jamming with his buddies for the Carnival.
Anticlockwise (22 & 26 April 1992)
A video about a martial arts enthusiast at the crossroads of his life. His girlfriend is about to leave him for an overseas job, while his own occupation as a waiter is at a dead-end.
Art Fazil (15, 21 & 26 April 1992)
A singer-composer, Art Fazil has written songs for various Malay singers, such as Love Hunters, Ramli Sarip, and Fila. He is now a recording artiste with Pony Canyon. Besides singing, he also plays the guitar, the harmonica, and the piano. His musical influences include U2, Bob Marley, Ramli Sarip, M Basir and John Lennon. He is currently cutting his debut English album which will be released in July this year.
Awol (16, 19 – 22 & 24 – 25 April 1992)
Lenny Garcia, Finosh Khan, Kevin Netto, Colin Teo, and Christopher Toh – together, they make Artistes WithOut License. The band was formed only last November. Lenny and Chris both sing and play the guitar. Fin is the band’s drummer. Kevin plays the bass, whilst Colin plays the keyboard. They all contribute to the writing of their own songs.
Bernard’s Story (15 – 26 April 1992
, Void Deck)
‘Bernard’s Story’ is not about rape, although Bernard is accused of rape. Rather, it is about the ravages inflicted by a raunchy, mindless middle class.
Biduk Retak (15 – 26 April 1992)
The play revolves around the relationship of three elderly persons who are living in an old folks’ home. There is tension within each of the three main characters, each of whom went to the home for different reasons. As the play progresses, the tension deep within them begins to seep out through their conversations. The play reaches its climax when one of the three characters reveals his sad past and dies soon after. ‘Biduk Retak’ is a play of deep emotions, realistic and set simply.
In November 1986, six young theatre enthusiasts came together to establish Teater Artistik at the Pasir Panjang Community Centre. It is now a bilingual theatre group affiliated to the NUS Theatre-in-Residence scheme. Teater Artistik’s aim is to work towards a new and fresh direction, putting up plays to suit the taste of the modern Singaporean.
Bra Sizes (15 – 26 April 1992, Music Room)
Too big, too small, too far apart, too close together. Breasts the assets, breasts the bane. Bra sizes may change over time, but a woman can never run away from the pleasures, the obsession, the pain, and the responsibility that comes with being a female. Jeannie is part of every woman – she is one woman’s insecurity and another’s best friend.
Cabaret (15 – 26 April 1992)
This professional artiste has travelled extensively throughout Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Scotland, Costa Rica, Greenland, the USA and Czechoslovakia, performing, lecturing, acting, choreographing, designing costumes, and teaching mask-making.
Children Of The Pear Garden (15 – 26 April 1992, Centrestage)
This is a play about ‘actors, and you daring people out there’.
In 1857, the European community banned the staging of street opera in Penang on the grounds that it caused social chaos. As a result, the Chinese community held a strike to protest against their entertainment being taken away. The play is based on this historical event.
This is a graduating piece from Victoria Junior College’s Theatre Studies and Drama programme. It was devised by Kaylene Tan, Janice Koh, Samuel Seow and Stanley Ho.
Condom Boy (15 – 26 April 1992, Facade, Fort Canning Centre)
Since his childhood, Eric Khoo has been a fan of the superhero Spider-Man. He even had the chance to meet Spider-Man’s creator, Stan Lee. Eric’s own comics are often associated with some macabre content. Fans often don’t understand or don’t see the moral of his comics. His latest creation, the rubbery superhero ‘Condom Boy’, is somewhat more lighthearted. It starts with a talking condom infected by the AIDS virus – hence having saved a life – and a discarded comic book. Then along comes an innocent youth who is somehow transformed into the ‘Saviour of Mankind’, Condom Boy. This marks the beginning of a new adventure…
Farid Ali & O’donel Levy (17 April 1992)
Farid and O’Donel Levy are good friends who will be playing a variety of instrumental music and a few of their original compositions on their guitars. Farid is a known vocalist who plays in the Oticago Bar & Grill on Duxton Hill. O’Donel Levy is an American who is currently based in Singapore. He is the Executive Producer for J. J. Jingles. He is an accomplished musician who has toured and played with personalities like Herbie Mann, Dulce Blington, Mike Davies and Billie Preston.
Fast Cars And Fancy Women (15 – 26 April 1992, Gallery)
Boy meets Girl and falls in love in this simple story. But no – life is not really so simple. She does not want Boy. He doesn’t drive a big enough car; he only drives a Mini. She wants a man with a fast car who can give her everything she wants. He only wants her, and he will try everything to get her. In the end, they both get what they always wanted – with a little price. Just a little price.
Foul Play (18 – 19 & 24 – 25 April 1992)
A child plays with toys of all kinds in sheer innocence. As the child grows into an adult, the same playthings begin to transform into weapons of nightmares. Presented by Teater Artistik.
Gauche (22 & 26 April 1992)
What does it mean to be left-handed? The film is a discourse on how left-handers cope in a world favouring right-handed people.
Global Chaos (16, 18, 20 & 23 April 1992)
A relatively new band formed in late 1989, Global Chaos was invited to perform at ‘Alternative Music Scene’. The band also has new songs from the New School Rock CD – ‘Open Up The Windows’, which is about racism, and ‘The Mortals Must Be Crazy’, which reflects a common local phenomenon where everyone is constantly blaming someone for something.
Haji (17 April 1992)
‘Haji’ means ‘clear’ in Malay. This rock band features Zainal Abidin on guitar, Aidi Rahmad on bass, and Rosli Hassan on drums. The band was formed two years ago and plays instrumental music. They give jazz, blues, and classical pieces a rock beat, transforming them into something new and unique. They have performed at Woodstock.
Heritage (19 & 25 – 26 April 1992)
Heritage comprises Ashley Jansen, the leader, Gordon Jansen, Chris Ong and Atwell Jansen. They started in the 70’s, where they introduced the notion of fusing jazz and rock. In 1979, the pioneered a whole album of ten original compositions with WEA and also represented Singapore at the first Malaysian Toshiba-Aurex Jazz Festival in Kuala Lumpur. In the 80s, they experimented with Eastern modes and scales together with ethnic instruments like the Chinese bamboo flutes, the Itai Bee Jawa, gongs and kalimbas. Their next album will be released sometime in the middle of 1992.
Home (15 – 26 April 1992, Studio 1)
Tang is a depressed old man in a nursing home, waiting for his turn to die. Goh is a cleaning lady and Tang’s only friend. Alex, spirited and witty, becomes Tang’s roommate. In a clash of their contrasting personalities, Alex draws Tang out of his shell. In the process, the lives of all three are changed.
House Of Lim (15 – 26 April 1992, Foyer Comics)
Cheah Sin Ann, known for his ‘House of Lim’ (HOL), is a cartoonist by profession. When asked how he gets his inspiration for HOL, he remains thoughtful, and says that he often has to sit down to think. He adds that he has to remain optimistic at all times. At the moment, Sin Ann has a vision of a young vagabond Chinese swordsman in a new cartoon creation. It shall be based on Chinese mythology, involving dungeons and dragons.
I Have Never Told The Truth (20, 22, 24 & 26 April 1992)
This film discusses what it means to tell the truth.
Indian Dance (20 – 21 April 1992)
Presented by Santha Bhaskar and the Nrityalaya Aesthetics Society. The Nrityalaya Aesthetics Society dedicates itself to the promotion of all local art forms on a non-profit basis with the objective of bringing about a higher level of artistic appreciation among the Singaporean audience. Performances are organised regularly and serve to expose students and members to the performing arts. They also pave the way for choreographers to realise their creativity. The society has five enthusiastic groups – the Carnatic Music group, the Chinese Dance group, the Drum Ensemble, the Hindustani Music Group, and the Indian Dance group.
Lee Hon Kit (15 – 26 April 1992, Foyer Comics)
Hon Kit is an architecture undergraduate at the National University of Singapore. He is freelancing as a cartoonist and a graphic artist. His collaboration with Melvin Yong has resulted in the Sunday Times comic strip ‘Huntsman’. He is also the illustration editor for ‘Tesseract’, a local science fiction magazine.
Lest The Demons Get To Me (15 – 26 April 1992, The Black Box)
On the final night at Bugis Street, transvestite KC is getting tired of his furtive life. Mother knows, but not Father, so each time he goes home, he has to dress up properly as a man. The resentment deepens, especially since he feels his parents are to be blamed for his transvestism. His terribly closeted boyfriend, the mysterious Chuck, is unlikely to want to live together with him. Weary of a life so dishonest, his one option is to have a sex change and marry his American pen pal.
During his sex change operation, Father dies. Mother wants him to dress up as a man to perform funeral rites as the only son in a family of five daughters. KC, who is now a woman, refuses in the name of honesty. So will she or won’t she?
Mambo Girl (15, 19, 23 & 25 April 1992)
Carefree Kia Ling (Grace Chang) feels that she is a lucky girl. She is gifted in music and dancing, earning her the nickname ‘Mambo Girl’. For her 20th birthday, her father Li (Liu En Jia) decides to throw an elaborate party at her admirer’s stately home, and her family and friends are abuzz with preparations. Li’s wife, however, discovers that Li has made a mistake in his announcement, and in their argument, they refer to Ling’s adoption papers. Their younger daughter Pao Ling chances upon the document and is shocked. Unable to keep the news to herself, she tells a schoolmate, who embarrasses Kia Ling at her birthday party. ‘Mambo Girl’ promises to have many touching and dramatic moments.
Courtesy of Cathay Organisation Pte Ltd.
Monkey Business (15 – 26 April 1992)
Loong did not bargain on the terrible thing he was going to learn about himself when his father, a sea captain, brought home a monkey. A wicked piece of science fiction set in an uneventful Lion City where nothing extraordinary is ever said to happen.
Russell Heng was formerly the Features Editor of Sunday Times. He is now with the Institute of SE Asian Studies.
Nuradee (18 April 1992)
Introducing themselves as the duo Nuradee, Mohd Rasid (Adee) and Mohd Noor (Nur) compose from music to poetry. Ethereal and hypnotic, their peculiar brand of songs have been described as ‘indigenous yet modern’. The lyrics of the songs are written by Nur and Adee, or other poets and lyricists around the region. Nuradee’s first album is in the pipeline and will be released later this year.
Padres (18 April 1992)
Padres are Nizam, Patrick, Jong Aik, Vincent and Joe (leader of the band). Pat (guitar) and Vincent (bass) are in The Oddfellows, while Nizam (drums) and Jong Aik (guitar) play for the Nonames. Joe (voice box) used to ‘front corporate toil’, but is now ‘a freelancer laying bricks and screaming’.
Patrick Carroll (17 & 22 April 1992)
Patrick Carroll makes a comeback. He was most active in the music scene in the 70’s, performing at night clubs at the Hilton, the Shangri-la, and the Tropicana. He dropped out of the music scene in the 80’s and worked first in the airport cargo department. He is now a copywriter.
Plum Blossom Village (16 – 17 April 1992)
Presented by the Leling Peking Opera Troupe. A young nun, Chen Miaochang, falls in love with a young scholar who happens to visit the nunnery on his way to the imperial examinations. After he leaves, the nun decides to break with feudal mores and follow her beloved. On a riverbank, she meets a sympathetic old boatman who understands her feelings, but teases her before taking her to her lover.
Raw Material (15 – 26 April 1992, Music Room)
‘Raw Material’ is essentially a dialogue between X, a graduate student seeking material for his thesis, and David, a convicted murderer on death row. In this interview-cum-interrogation, X seeks to discover the motives behind David’s actions by going through David’s past and background. Initially defensive, David gradually opens up, and we learn he was a homosexual prostitute and that he has killed his lover, John.
Red Man, Green Man (15 – 26 April 1992, Tarmac)
What happens when two middle-aged men meet each other at a ‘red man, green man’ traffic junction where the ‘green man’ refuses to come on? From a simple choice – to cross or not to cross – the lives of the two men unfold. One used to believe in rules, while the other used to flout them. They have both become very different people as grownups. Why does one insist on staying instead of crossing? Does he stay simply because he is afraid to break the rules – or is there something else he is afraid of?
Romito Mendoza (16 & 23 April 1992)
A Singaporean of Filipino descent, Romito’s forte lies in singing and playing the guitar. Even as a student, he sings professionally with his family’s band, which is currently touring Malaysia. For the Carnival, Romito will sing familiar favourites.
Shades (15 & 20 April 1992)
Shades’ first public performance was at Christmas in 1985 at a charity show. The leader of the band is Farid Long. He is the lead vocalist and principal composer who carefully avoids Singlish in his lyrics. N Mani is the financial controller. Portugese James Rosario has written several tracks with Farid. S Subra is the drummer. They have over 30 original songs in their repertoire, although some may be too ‘personal’ for the public’s ears.
Sister Long Legs (17 & 20 – 22 April 1992)
After migrating south, Hu (Liu En Jia) and Chen (Wang Lai) find life difficult, so much that their elder daughter Ting (Yeh Fung) is compelled to work to keep her younger sister Pin (Lin Tsui) in school. The only thing on Chen’s mind is finding Ting a husband. At a friend’s party, Chen Meets Charlie, a rich young man whom she decides Ting should get to know better. Ting, however, has met Hsiao Chin, and the two fall in love. Chen objects to their relationship and schemes to have Ting marry the man she prefers. ‘Sister Long Legs’ unfolds with a series of rollicking and romantic moments.
Courtesy of Cathay Organisation Pte Ltd.
Still Building (15 – 26 April 1992)
‘Still Building’ is a play about people trapped by family, by friends, by buildings, and by themselves. It also highlights their attempts to break free. This particular play has been developed through a series of improvisations.
Stone The Glass House (23 & 25 April 1992)
John Lui, Reynold Pereira, Rajesh Shah, David Ng and Patrick Ng make up the group Stone The Glass House. They are five professionals desperately seeking an outlet and finding that music is one way of breaking away from the monotony of everyday life. The band is influenced by a wide variety of music, including rock, jazz and blues – specifically the groups Rush and Joy Division, and soloist Joe Satriani. For this performance, in addition to writing their own music, the group will also experiment by incorporating music with poetry recitation. The lyrics and poetry are written by Reynold.
Story Teller (15 – 26 April 1992, Studio 1)
What happens when a beautiful and precocious girl who weaves fanciful stories slowly begins to understand and unravel sordid family secrets embedded in a childhood memory? Mei Hua is no longer a child. She wants to destroy her family by wreaking her dead mother’s revenge upon her father and stepmother. She finds in Jen an instrument to carry out the ingenious machinations of her dark and creative mind. He loves her, but he is reluctant to do what she wants.
Teenage Head Live (19, 21, 23 & 25 April 1992)
The Oddfellows, a Singapore rock and roll band who released their first independent album Teenage Head, scored a #1 hit single on three local radio charts with ‘So Happy’. This documentary features rare live footage of an independent band in concert. Interviews with the band are included.
The De Cotta Brothers (24 April 1992)
Either country or popular tunes – Leonard and Bernard play them well on their banjo or twelve-strings guitar. Managers by profession, musicians by passion.
The Minimalists (15 – 26 April 1992, Facade Fort Canning Centre)
Retribution! We are benevolent creatures. We vehemently uphold that art should be expressed in recognisable monogramic images and vookfoamic symbols. This is the Age of Punched Persons; justice is therefore imperative. – Extract from the Manifesto on Minimal Art
The Minimalists are Constance Wee, Geraldine Au, Regina De Rozario, Jeannie Ho and Mrs Berlik. They are Fine Arts majors at La Salle.
The Other Side Of Silence (17 April 1992)
The Other Side Of Silence (TO:SOS) was formed in October 1991 for the New School Rock 11 competition. Only three original members remain in the presently five-man band. TO:SOS is basically a song-writing band. Their music is rock-oriented, and the lyrics in their songs relate either to circumstances affecting them or experiences that they have been through.
The Soul Cage (20 & 24 April 1992)
A film about a woman who buys an antique radio and finds that the radio plays only music from the 60’s on every channel. Soon, she discovers that there is a spirit living inside the radio.
The Woman In A Tree On The Hill (15 – 26 April 1992, Centrestage)
When Nora’s husband tells her that their marriage is over and he’s leaving her (or rather, that she’s leaving him, because he wants to keep the house), her world crumbles around her. She climbs up into a tree in their garden to figure out where her life is going. Nora is only the latest in a long line of women who have tried to save their own lives by reaching upwards and outwards after the ground has been cut away from under their feet… it’s a line that goes back to the legendary Nu Wa and Mrs Noah, mother of all women.
Untitled Works Of Chan Man Loon (15 – 26 April 1992, Foyer Comics)
Chan Man Loon is a freelance illustrator. His interests include mural painting, prop and costume design, papier-mache, and sculptures. Man Loon’s published works include ‘Army Daze’ (together with Cheah Sin Ann), ‘Souls Book 1 & 2’, and ‘Souls’, a comic strip in the Sunday Times.
Waves Of A Distant Shore (20 & 24 April 1992)
A film about a young girl who remembers a moment in childhood when the new world was far away, and the novelty of meeting foreign sailors.