The Woman in a Tree on the Hill (1994)

1 June 1994 – 7 June 1994 @ Guinness Theatre, The Substation


Written by Ovidia Yu and directed by Ivan Heng, The Woman in a Tree on the Hill features Heng himself as the lead actor with Malaysian actress Foo May Lyn and four musicians from the UK.

In its aim to fuse East and West, the play draws inspiration from such diverse sources like Peking Opera, Balinese Dance, Cabaret, Cartoons and the production is completely underscored by original live music. By stringing the epic tales of Mr and Mrs Noah (Guardians of the Ark), Nu Wa (Chinese Goddess of Marriage) and the everyday story of Singaporeans Nora and Norman, the play explores the myths of mortals and immortals, as well as the age-old battle of the sexes in a nuanced and poetic manner.

Director: Ivan Heng
Playwright: Ovidia Yu

Cast: Ivan Heng, Foo May Lyn

(Source: National Arts Council Programme)

other stagings


Ivan Heng
Director, Cast
Ovidia Yu


Playful Phoenix: Women Write for the Singapore Stage
"This collection is the first of its kind in Singapore to feature women dramatists. Written in English for an English-speaking audience, the plays grapple with the limitations and resources of English­ language theatre (ranging from its Anglo-American sources to emergent international forms) by attempting to deconstruct and infuse it with local, multicultural, multi-dialectal idioms and forms. They join a growing body of Anglophone Southeast Asian theatrical works struggling to cultivate a local identity an
Ovidia Yu, Dana Lam, Eleanor Wong, Leow Puay Tin, Tan Mei Ching, Chin Woon Ping
Published: 1996
Ovidia Yu: Eight Plays
"Ovidia Yu is that rare breed of Singapore writer in at least two ways. In terms of versatility, she shares certain qualities with her literary predecessor, Goh Poh Seng, who has demonstrated aptitude and craft across a spectrum of genres... [...] "... Yu, sprouting in the scene in the late 1980s as nascence rather than renascence of an earlier, heavily influential tradition, didn't feel the need to imitate prevailing modes of the dominant tradition unlike the acolytes of Kuo like Haresh Sharma.
Ovidia Yu
Published: 2011