Frayed Ends by Michelle Tan

Masthead Image
Masthead Image
20 January 2020 | 7:30pm
Black Box, Centre 42

(By invitation only)


Frayed Ends charts how the lives of a close circle of friends carry on after one of them decides to end her own life. In the face of a loss that is both immeasurable and sudden, they struggle with the frustrating limits of being human, of trying (and failing) to be there for the ones they love, and with finding some kind of hope even in the inevitability of these failures.

Frayed Ends was developed under Centre 42's Guest Room (now known as the New Scripts Residency). Read about Guest Room here.

Artist’s Statement/Inquiry

At this stage the work is a two-fold attempt at the following:

  • To explore the specific dynamic of loss among a group of friends who are as close as family – what does this journey look like for people not held together by blood or romantic relations? If the blunt force of grief can fracture even familial ties, what impact might it have on an ostensibly more tenuous connection?
  • To lay bare/make sense of the writing process; a small experiment in exploring how stories are constructed, and what distance (if any) lies between craft and creation, or between real life and what passes for fiction on stage. If the narrative is about the attempt to cross the divide between where one is (for instance, in mourning/alive and in pain) to where one would like to be (for instance, somewhere closer to okayness/away from present suffering), then to see this embodied in the text would be to see how the play itself also journeys from unwritten and inarticulate to become, hopefully, a thing that says something of some comfort and value.


An image in the Black Box with two performers seated in front of a table with scripts on the right and a performer standing behind them looking towards another performer on the left with a black file in hand.

Photographed by Centre 42.
View more at: Centre 42 Facebook