The Chronicles Of Xiao Ming by Miriam Cheong

Masthead Image
Masthead Image
7 August 2019 | 7:30pm
Black Box, Centre 42

(By invitation only)


It’s been day 4XX since graduating school and this girl still hasn’t used a chengyu in her life. Or much Chinese at all. However, years later, perhaps it’s finally time to try. The Chronicles of Xiao Ming is a recollection of one individual’s journey through Singapore’s Chinese Language syllabus, documenting the tribulations faced along the way. From a primary school child knowing barely five words in Chinese to an adult struggling to order food, The Chronicles of Xiao Ming is a humourous and poignant observation of the education system and its impact on one’s sense of self growing up.

The Chronicles Of Xiao Ming was developed under Centre 42's Guest Room (now known as the New Scripts Residency). Read about Guest Room here.

Artist’s Statement/Inquiry

Using the autobiographical journey of the writer through the Chinese syllabus, this piece aims to address the absurdity of the education system and the image of success it paints. Through this, the piece thus asks the audience to reflect on their own experiences with the education system and consequently, the image of success they have placed upon themselves and others as a result.

For this phase of the play-development, Miriam hopes to test and gather audience feedback on the following:

  1. How relatable is the play for audience who did not go through the typical Singaporean schooling? Or for those who took a different mother tongue?
  2. Does the work speak or resonate to audiences who do not know the writer, thus contesting the autobiographical form?
  3. How do elements involved in the staging of the piece, ie. props and spoken word, effectively bring out the piece’s thesis in highlighting absurdity of the education system?

Audience’s input at the read-presentation will help the playwright and creative team to develop the script further. There are plans to independently produce and stage the play in 2020.


Miriam Cheong
Playwright, Cast
Adeeb Fazah