The Vault: Gossip, Symphony & Other Matters

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Masthead Image
20 April 2019 | 2:30pm
20 April 2019 | 7:30pm
Black Box, Centre 42

(Cash only, at the door)


One Year Back Home by Robert Yeo is about the lives of 20-something-year-old Singaporeans returning home from studying overseas in 1972. What will 20-something-year-olds nearly 40 years later make of the play?

First staged in 1980, One Year Back Home was a runaway breakthrough for Singapore English-language theatre. In 2019, students from the National University of Singapore’s Theatre Studies Theatre Lab delved into this landmark play and have crafted three unique performance responses:

Symphony 404 is a riff off the premise in One Year Back Home of old friends reuniting for a shared purpose. A reunion concert for their alma mater goes south when alumni members of a school band end up fighting with each other.

What Matters features Lisa Ang, the daughter of main character Ang Siew Hwa. Now in her 50s, Lisa is a single woman of mixed parentage who is in politics. This performance charts Lisa’s rise to prominence and the reactions of different cross-sections of the public.

Gossip GRLs is a farce that examines the support staff of Grassroots Leaders (GRLs). The performance follows the misadventures of a new volunteer joining the chaotic and competitive world of grassroots leadership.

Video Documentation

Gossip, Symphony & Other Matters is a triple bill of performance responses to Robert Yeo's One Year Back Home, created by the graduating students of the National University of Singapore's Theatre Studies Theatre Lab.


Reading Materials
Programme Handout

Programme for The Vault: Gossip, Symphony & Other Matters


Robin Loon
Nora Samosir
Daniel Teo
Workshop Facilitator
Gwen Pew
Workshop Facilitator
Henrik Cheng
Technical Consultant
Samuel Ng


The Singapore Trilogy
Patriotism: do you have it? How does one express it? Is it worth it? The Singapore Trilogy—consisting of Are You There, Singapore?, One Year Back Home and Changi—has raised questions since the seventies about nationhood that we are still asking today. Influential in steering early English-language theatre in Singapore away from its colonial roots, Robert Yeo conceived of characters that are believably local in speech, thought and behaviour, and provided a dramatic platform for the d
Robert Yeo
Published: 2022