W!ld Rice’s play, Second Link

Literature fans will remember Second Link, a play that made its debut at the Singapore Writer’s Festival 2005. A production that has garnered many satisfied nods and thumbs-up, it sees Singaporean and Malaysian actors performing the works of the wordsmiths from both countries. The result is a witty and perceptive play with subject matter that ranges from Sir Stamford Raffles to sexuality, censorship to chicken rice, and Sang Kancil to Singlish.
Second Link promises to be novel. “I think we are quite used to hearing dramatists’ texts but the nice thing about Second Link is that we also get to hear the text of poets and prose writers. For me, I found those segments the most refreshing. And it’s just great to see how a poem can leap into life when performed,” quips Eleanor Wong, the co-curator of Second Link.
As Singaporean actors act out texts by Malaysian scribes and vice versa, the audience delves in the commonalities and disparities between Singapore and Malaysia. “It struck me how similar and how different our preoccupations were, on both sides of the causeway. On the one hand, there were echoes that resonated in both halves, for example, both halves have interrogation scenes, both halves obviously touch on race and religion to some extent, but there were also differences. The Malaysian half contains many more agrarian images. The Singapore half was more urban,” Wong continues.
If you missed Second Link in 2005, catch it this time round as it hits the stage to be as the finale of the Singapore Theatre Festival ’06. It stars Singaporean thespians Lim Yu Beng, Jonathan Lim, Karen Tan and more; and Malaysian performers that include Reza Zainal Abidin, Fahmi Fadzil and Anne James. The sole message that Wong hopes you’ll take home? “Let’s celebrate our own voices.”