The Vault: Desert Blooms

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Registration
30 November 2019 | 7:30pm
1 December 2019 | 2:30pm
1 December 2019 | 7:30pm
Black Box, Centre 42

Admission: Give-What-You-Can
(Cash only, at the door)

Synopsis

The Vault: Desert Blooms is a lecture-performance tracing the history of Singapore theatre from 1985 to 1995 through a queer lens. It was during this period amidst laments of Singapore’s “cultural desert” that bold queer and queer-allied voices quietly but insistently began proliferating across the local theatre scene.

Starting at the time when Army Daze’s Kenny Pereira first declared he could do a fabulous impersonation of Diana Ross (and the Supremes), through to when Mergers and Accusations’s Ellen met Lesley, the lesbian lawyer from London, Desert Blooms whizzes through a prickly but fruitful decade which yielded our earliest and most canonical LGBTQ-themed plays.

Created by researcher-writer Ng Yi-Sheng and directed by Tan Shou Chen, Desert Blooms not only refers to a whole host of colourful, groundbreaking plays, but reconstructs the contexts of early queer Singaporean theatre-making with historical materials and interviews with theatre practitioners. Desert Blooms will be brought to life by Rebekah Sangeetha Dorai, Yap Yi Kai and Izzul Irfan.

Join us to relive a golden era in Singapore theatre history, a time when theatre-makers felt emboldened enough to – according to theatre researcher Terence Chong – “perform their authenticity”, creating some of our most enduring and loved characters and plays, and leaving a lasting legacy for theatre-makers today to revel in and build upon.

iMDA Rating: R18 (Mature Theme)


Video Documentation

The Vault: Desert Blooms is a lecture-performance tracing the history of Singapore theatre from 1985 to 1995 through a queer lens. It was during this period amidst laments of Singapore's "cultural dessert" that bold queer and queer-allied voices quietly but insistently began proliferating across the local theatre scene.


Resources

Programme Handout

Programme for The Vault: Desert Blooms


Profiles

Ng Yi-Sheng
Creator, Playwright, Researcher
Tan Shou Chen
Director, Set Designer
Siti Syahadah
Stage Manager
Yap Yi Kai
Performer
Izzul Irfan
Performer
Ng Yi-Sheng
Performer
Ruzaini Mazani
Multimedia Designer

artefacts

Black Waters, Pink Sands
In this book, you’ll find the annotated scripts of two acclaimed lecture performances written by Ng Yi-Sheng, exploring forgotten chapters of Singapore history. Ayer Hitam: a Black History of Singapore explores the history and influence of the African diaspora in Singapore over two hundred years. It trawls the archive for stories of slavery, colonialism, jazz and nationalist struggle, reaffirming the value of black culture in our shared heritage. Collaboratively created with Sharon Frese and Irfan K
Ng Yi-Sheng
Published: 2020