The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival celebrates its tenth birthday when it is held from 8 to 19 January next year (2014). Next year’s Fringe, the theme of which is Art & the People, will see the fifteen works of artists representing six countries which will include performances, video screenings and visual art installations and interestingly performances which will see some level of interaction with the audiences.
The festival’s highlights are an adaptation by Nine Years Theatre (九年剧场) in Mandarin of Henrik Ibsen’s iconic play An Enemy of the People (人民公敌), a festival commission; Portuguese company Mundo Perfeito’s Three Fingers below the Knee, which addresses what company sees as the shared heritage of censorship through the use of censored parts of plays written during four decades years of dictatorship; Hiroshi Sunairi’s Majulah Singapura – Tree Project, which revolves around the growing of Hibaku trees that survived the atomic bombings in Hiroshima.
The festival sees seven commissioned works from Singapore which besides the Enemy of the People, also includes The Mountain by The Art of Strangers; Joget, Abang, Joget (Dance, Darling, Dance) by ponggurl which is helmed by Noor Effendy Ibrahim; Take Me or Leave Me, by The Necessary Stage’s Theatre for Seniors; Alecia Neo’s Unseen; Ong Kian Peng’s The Face Daily - a daily newspaper with “news” grabbed from Facebook feeds; and Tan Wei Keong’s Foundin.
The Mountain which is presented by a new performance collective, is based on a story by Amitav Ghosh – which is a reflection of the relationship between art, people and global warming. Interestingly, the this will involve the fifteen members of the audience which each of the three performances is limited to who will together with fifteen performers who through storytelling and role-playing, provide an immersive and intimate experience.
Also to look out for is perhaps the Theatre for Seniors’ two afternoons of free forum theatre performances in Take Me or Leave Me, which takes a look at real life situations faced by seniors – divorce in old age and the abandonment of the elderly. The Theatre for Senoirs’ programme was started by The Necessary Stage in April 2008 and involves senior citizens trained by professional theatre practitioners in theatre making skills – the two performances are devised by the members of the Theatre for Seniors and will also involved interaction with the audience.
The festival will see tickets (for ticketed performances) priced at $19 (excluding SISTIC fee) with a 20% discount for M1 customers and involves four venues – The Namtional Museum of Singapore, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, ION Art, ION Orchard, and The Substation. More information can be found on the festival’s website www.singaporefringe.com. Tickets can be purchased through SISTIC.