If you’re intending to buy a ticket to Toy Factory Productions’ next play, prepare to see a lot of ‘O’ Level students attending. The local theater company has announced that their next big production will be a theatrical adaptation of the local novel Here and Beyond: 12 Stories. Edited by Cyril Wong, the book is an anthology of short stories written by 12 Singaporean writers (including the likes of Simon Tay, Alfian Sa’at and even S. Rajaratnam). It’s also the only local commissioned literature text for 2018/19 ‘O’ Level students.
Of course, you don’t have to be rigorously studying the text to be able to enjoy Here and Beyond. The original stories read as 12 separate tales from complete strangers, bound together only by the same unique sensibilities that make us Singaporean. Toy Factory’s theatrical adaption, which will run from Jul 19-28, will take those 12 stories and present them cohesively for the stage. How they seamlessly connect life in the kampong to the daily experiences of today’s domestic helpers and local hawkers, to a student’s homesickness studying away from home, will be a visual feat worth watching.
Helmed by a full Singaporean cast and creative team, the show will see Toy Factory’s Associate Artistic Director Stanley Seah directing, with actors Abby Lai and Darren Guo among the seven-strong ensemble cast; along with three recent graduates from Lasalle and NAFA. Toy Factory has been a proud part of our local arts scene for 28 years, pushing in particular for original Asian stories to be seen on the main stage (they recently staged an original commission for the Singapore International Festival of Arts). This revisited collection of stories celebrating the Singapore spirit should fit nicely into their repertoire.
Here and Beyond runs from Jul 19-28 at the SOTA Drama Theatre. Tickets available here.