A French Kiss In Singapore

Do not miss A French Kiss In Singapore.

Thank you SingTheatre and George Chan for putting this wonderful showcase of singing and storytelling together. Last Thursday we watched George Chan, Hossan Leong, Linden Furnell and Robin Goh interpret and deliver some of the most iconic French contemporary songs originally written and performed by Charles Aznavour, Charles Trenet, Jacques Brel and Serge Gainsbourg. We were blown away by the collective storytelling prowess of the quartet (as well as that of George, Hossan, Linden and Robin, who were nothing short of awesome).

For some more background on the French greats (and maybe jog your memory of some of the songs you already know):

A French Kiss in Singapore runs till 7 Dec. Book your tickets now.

Kumar’s Amazing Race

The past couple of years, I’ve said it’s a privilege working with the funniest drag queen on the planet.

Nothing’s changed in that respect. In fact, it’s been even more fun exploring all things Indian. From Little India to real India. We’re still trying to get to the bottom of the whole Thaipusam-cannot-play-drums-or-music debacle, and we’re quite certain we have the solution.

Just thought I’d post this before tickets sell out. They really are selling fast, so please, if you want to watch Kumar at the Esplanade this year, fasterly book now.

Kumar: Stripped Bare – big shout out

Kumar: Stripped Bare & Standing Up

It’s not every day one gets to write the script for a completely sold out show.

It’s been such privilege to help write Kumar’s show (which closed last night), and I only wish the run was longer so’s more people could’ve watched it.

It’s also been an extremely rewarding experience interviewing Kumar for a week at the beginning of this project, listening to his life stories, of which there were so many that there was the added task of picking which ones to put in the show.

What made it fun also was the fact that it wasn’t just one way traffic – Kumar learned from me about the lack of Tamil directional signage at the Airport, while I learned that “Lingam” is a symbol used in the worship of Shiva, and which is sometimes portrayed as a phallic symbol.

To correct Nalinee (just a little bit), the script wasn’t quite ‘well researched’ – it was more like the product of many good chats with Kumar.

There were also incredible moments where Kumar, beyond all expectations, took offence at a proposed punchline because it was too racist.

Thank you very much Selena, Kumar, Maniam (The Tabla Man), every single one from Dream Academy, and every single crew member that made this show rock.

Free tickets: Kumar strips bare

I have been at rehearsals for the past week for Kumar’s show, and I speak for everyone when I say we are having damn a lot of fun, can?

It’s also been a real privilege to be the writer for this show, because the stuff that Kumar’s been spewing during our workshops has been just revelation after revelation – about his remarkable life and his complicated family, and about being Indian in Singapore.

Sometimes its hard to tell if Kumar’s being serious or not – like when he asks me as he flips through the script, “Ben, you have all these Indian jokes, and then got the Malay one, and one Eurasian one, but don’t have Chinese racist joke. Why ah?”

Yanked my chain good.

I wish someone else would come, watch rehearsals and write about how much of a kickass show this is going to be, because, you know, if the writer tells you hisself, it’s kinda lame.

There is so much life in Kumar’s retelling of his life’s experiences that writing them down has been a real joy, with anecdotes and punches jumping off the pages and onto the rehearsal stage.

So, I’ve asked the producers for a pair of tickets to give away here. All you need to do is answer this question correctly, and the person that gives the first correct answer wins.

Q: What was Kumar’s vocation in national service?

Kumar: Stripped Bare & Standing Up
Venue: Esplanade Theatre
Dates: 19 – 21 March 2009
Tickets (selling really fast): Sistic

Seriously Hossan

My best friend Hossan is going to perform at the Esplanade (again) on the 27th and 28th (and extra show on the 29th because of popular demand) of this month. So, even if you’ve something better to do (which I doubt, because it’s Hossan performing at the Esplanade), get your tickets fast, and book yourself in for a treat.