The location actually makes sense once you know the story

If you’re tired of seeing plays performed on grand stages and four-walled studios, this upcoming one will have you trekking all the way to the very northeastern part of Singapore for a staging happening on Punggol Beach, and of all places, in a hut.

Titled Beach Burden Bliss, and part of Desert Wine’s Comfort Theatre Series, the double bill performance encompasses two site-specific original plays—Burden and Bliss—both by playwright/producer/director Sharmila Melissa Yogalingam.

Burden first portrays the real life story of World War 2 survivor Chan Cheng Yean. During the Sook Ching massacre that happened in 1942, he was among the truckloads of Chinese men who were suspected of being part of anti-Japanese activities, and were brought to three different beaches, including Punggol Beach, to be executed by gunfire. Somehow, the man survived the horrific ordeal.

Then switch gears with Bliss, a light hearted comedy surrounding a family dinner. While waiting for overseas family members to arrive at a restaurant in Punggol, the local family members carelessly reveal scandalous secrets about themselves, resulting in unexpected, but relatable, moments of hilarity.

Both plays take place in an intimate beach hut set up at Punggol Beach, for one day only. While the location is definitely part of the allure, the plays themselves also seem to be promising, poignant reflections of our lives in Singapore. So come for the novelty, but stay on for the unfolding of deep narratives. Here’s hoping it all leads to a eureka moment.


Beach Burden Bliss happens Nov 16 at Punggol Beach, with showings at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. Tickets $25. Free seating.