We may bicker over who owns what food, but how different really are our childhoods?

It’s no secret that our relationship with Malaysia is getting rockier everyday—we’re like the twin sisters who grew up joined at the hip that, now grown and independent, can’t seem to shake the endless toxic comparisons from judgmental outsiders. So when a new theatre production arrives seeking to tease out the similarities between life in the two countries in a meaningful, sentimental way, we’re all for it.

Co-presented by Centre 42 and Malaysia’s Five Arts Centre, Are You Game, Sau(dara)? is an original double bill of two works sure to pile on the nostalgia. Both plays were created as an artistic response to Malaysian playwright Leow Puay Tin’s seminal work Three Children, on childhood and memory. Debuted in 1987 at the now-demolished Shell Theatrette, the play follows three grown-up siblings returning to their childhood home on Kappan Road in Malacca—where Leow herself grew up.

In Five Arts Centre’s Are You Game?, expect an immersive, experimental performance in which audiences get to interact with the performers. The research-performance created by Malaysian director Fasyali Fadzly will have the actors face riddles and challenges, relating the stories of the Melaka peoples inspired by the ones in Leow's story.

Sau(dara) presented under The Vault in 2018

As for Sau(dara), presented by local theatre company Bhumi Collective, the script features an all-female cast and explores what it means to grow up as Malay women in Singapore—digging into themes of childhood, memory and play. While it incorporates scenes from the original script of Three Children, the show’s premise is based on the childhood experiences of Bhumi Collective’s artistic team. Developed under Centre 42’s The Vault programme, a work-in-progress version was first presented in 2018.

Together, both plays will travel as a double bill performed in English and Malay to the two countries, showing first in Kuala Lumpur from Mar 1-3, before making its way to Singapore from Mar 8-10. You can get your tickets to the Singapore show here; but hey, feel free to watch it over in our sister country if you prefer.   

Are You Game, Sau(dara)? runs in Singapore from Mar 8-10 at Centre 42, Black Box. More information here