“This Is What Happens To Pretty Girls” review: these grey areas

If you can’t hear what I’m trying to say
If you can’t read from the same page

Pangdemonium’s This Is What Happens To Pretty Girls opens with a glimpse of a dance floor. With strobe lights and loud music, dance floors are typically ripe with grimy behaviour, bodies drenched with sweat and alcohol. It is a brief scene, but it is a space that most are familiar with, and a space that This Is What Happens… tries to replicate and expand into domestic and work scenes.

This Is What Happens… attempts to show that these spaces are at times a breeding ground for sexual harassment and abuse, especially as Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” is featured at least twice in the first half. The play turns the song on its head: blurred lines no longer alludes to a “she drives me crazy saying no when I know she wants it” stance, but more on the many confusing implications of what consent really means. Yes means yes, but what if you didn’t mean it? What if you change your mind? Consent is not simple because sex, dating and relationships are not simple. With a compelling narrative and a strong ensemble cast, This Is What Happens… successfully encapsulates these grey areas, painting a clear picture of a murky territory.

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TPAM: “The Mysterious Lai Teck” review

Spoiler Alert: This review contains spoilers for The Mysterious Lai Teck, which will run from 17 to 19 May at the Singapore International Festival of Arts.

“I am the shadow of Ho Chi Minh,” a voice states. It starts as a whisper, before being repeated later as a fast, sharp claim. This narrating voice recounts his origin story: about growing up in his home country of Vietnam, vaguely alluding to being from the same birthplace as Ho Chi Minh – as though to solidify his ties with communism, great leadership and power. Yet, he later admits he is not from the same region, only nearby. This voice, that openly lies, belongs to a man known as Lai Teck, the leader of the Malayan Communist Party, and a triple agent working with the French, British and Japanese secret service.

Continue reading at Arts Equator 

In the Living Room: Year in Reviews 2018

I’ve been invited to co-chair Year In Reviews coming up this Tuesday, Dec 4th! Instead of a strict panel session, this is an open dialogue event where we hold casual conversations about Singapore theatre this year. Here’s how it will work:

Reviewers from Centre 42’s Citizens’ Reviews programme and arts website ArtsEquator will begin the evening by sharing some of their observations, based on the shows that they watched and wrote about this year. You can then pick a topic and engage the reviewers in small-group discussions. Year in Reviews is an opportunity to reflect on the performances you watched, as well as the wider local theatre landscape today.

More details in their Facebook event page. It’s FREE so please come and take part in this exciting conversation!

ME @ Melbourne Writers’ Festival

A couple of months ago, I was invited by the Melbourne Writers’ Festival to host a couple of post-show Q&As for their theatre series ‘Staged’. I was absolutely thrilled.  I hadn’t been back in Melbourne since December 2016 and on August 26th 2018, I took on the role of a Q&A chairperson for the first time. 

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