The Necessary Stage’s latest play ‘Hi, Can You Hear Me?’ questions the new normal

, The Necessary Stage’s latest play ‘Hi, Can You Hear Me?’ questions the new normal

Life is unpredictable. While we don’t know what will happen in our lives and in the world around us, what we do know is that The Necessary Stage (TNS) will be putting up its latest production Hi, Can You Hear Me? from Mar 21 to 31 at the Esplanade Theatre Studio.

The play follows various characters whose normalcies have been fractured due to events and experiences beyond their control.

Originally written by A Yagnya, who was affected by events such as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and the 2020 Covid pandemic and the climate emergency, Hi, Can You Hear Me?’ began as part of the TNS’ Devising Platform’s Playwrights’ Cove in 2020 and then a Zoom reading during the Covid-19 pandemic when theatre spaces were closed and performances went digital.

The play is co-directed by Yagnya and Alvin Tan, and has been rewritten for stage. It explores the lives of a motley crew of characters played by Doppo Narita, Rodney Oliveiro, Sharda Harrison, Sukania Venugopal, and Zelda Tatiana Ng. 

They portray Utama, who runs a bar in limbo; Guan Yin, who seems stuck between death and rebirth; Shimizu, who is grappling with his wife’s death while coping with his AI caretaker; Sindhu, who hankers after returning to a “boring” life after being triggered by past traumas; and John, who is desperately attempting to control his chaotic existence. 

The interweaving of the characters’ paths begs the question of what should or should not be held onto amidst the ever-changing sense of normalcy.

When asked what she hopes for audience members to take away from the play, Yagnya says, “I hope the work can be a window both inward-looking and outward-looking to contemplate our own humanity.”

Catch Hi, Can You Hear Me? at the Esplanade Theatre Studio from Mar 21 to 31, 2024. Tickets are $38 (excluding ticketing fee) with 20 percent off standard ticket price for students, full-time National Servicemen, senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWD) concession card holders, and Esplanade&Me members. Purchase your tickets here