29 April 2015

NANYANG, The Musical explores the world of Singapore's artist pioneers

Source: SISTIC website.

Director Alec Tok (卓金炎) has returned to the Singapore stage after 15 years spent making theatre abroad. NANYANG, The Musical, a coming-of-age story inspired by the lives and times of Singapore's first-generation artists, reunites lyricist Xiaohan (小寒) and composer Eric Ng (黄韵仁), the song-writing team behind hit musicals such as Liao Zhai Rocks and Lao Jiu, with arrangements by Goh Kheng Long (吴庆隆).  

Produced by One Kind Theatre (艺种戏剧), NANYANG will debut during the Singapore International Festival of Arts 2015 (SIFA), running from 6 to 8 August at the Drama Centre Theatre. The hero is Chen Kang, an up-and-coming painter from Xiamen, China who moves to 1930s Shanghai in a bid to advance his career. While there, he meets a group of kindred spirits with whom he explores and questions the fundamentals of traditional Chinese painting and European Impressionism. Chen even falls in love with one of them: Liying, a talented painter.

But the Japanese invasion of Shanghai and the spread of World War II to Europe drive Chen and his friends out of China and into Southeast Asia, where they became part of the Chinese diaspora in the region known for its collective identity, Nanyang (South Seas). Before settling in Singapore, Chen and his friends make a pivotal trip to Bali, where, inspired by the exoticism of the island, they develop a unique artistic style.

"I am very grateful to SIFA for giving me this opportunity and platform to converse and connect with our Singaporean audience through the language of art and theatre. This will be the first time that my stage work will be seen here after I went off to the US to study at the Yale School of Drama. It has been very exciting because this commission has allowed me to work with some of the best theatre artists practising here and in the region," said Tok.

Tickets are on sale at SISTIC* for the Mandarin musical with English subtitles. Early bird sales, with 20% discount, end on 10 May. There are also discounts for bundles as part of SIFA sales. Tickets range from S$25 to S$75 and could be an opportunity for organising a corporate outing for customers, partners or employees.

*SISTIC's hotline will operate from 10am to 8pm from May 2015.