Head into theatres for world premieres and new commissions alike

The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival may have a reputation for ruffling feathers and pushing boundaries at its annual showcase, but the festival will soon be keeping things (relatively) safe when it returns for a physical affair in early 2021.

Seeing the return of The Necessary Stage’s Alvin Tan as the artistic director of the Fringe after Sean Tobin’s exit, the edgy festival will soon run from Jan 20-31 2021, with the chosen theme of Quiet Riot.

If you’re wondering just what that entails, it means that the yearly event will explore meaningful transformations and changes, attained through peaceful resistance. And with nine shows as part of the line-up, look forward to four fringe commissions, seven world premieres and one Asian premiere as works that grapple with climate change, cultural identity and censorship take centrestage.


First, find out how the ongoing climate crisis can affect characters, whether it is the lives of real Singaporeans or mythical creatures in a line can be crossed and you would slowly cease to be. Then, check out Havoc Girls & Kamikaze Boys which is a Fringe commission (plus world premiere) that explores how youths are navigating the socio-political upheavals that have occured due to decisions made by adults.

Also mark your calendars for another world premiere and Fringe commission with Wan Belantara: Enjet-Enjet Semut (King of the Jungle: When the Ants Go Marching In), this is a cheeky showcase that fuses fact with fiction to examine what makes people loyal—or betray a leader.


But don’t forget to grab tickets for Offstage 3.0 and I, Frida too; the former is an Emergency Stairs performance that looks at the value of local theatre, while the latter is the Asian premiere of Ay, Caramba! Theatre’s work, inspired by playwright/performer Yulissa Campos’ personal experiences regarding immigration and settlement.

With everything that has happened this year, it’s safe to say that meaningful and reflective live performances could not have come at a better time. But perhaps the following year, the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival will go rogue and bring back provocative pieces, commissioning a few about the pandemic. Who knows?

The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival returns Jan 20-31 2021. More information available here