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Arts Picks: Theatre double bill, 50 small-scale art works, whimsical wind concert

Fall & The Music Lovers – A Double Bill

The graduating class of home-grown theatre academy Intercultural Theatre Institute (ITI) are put through the paces in this double bill that challenges them to be both introspective and physical.

It opens with Fall, by English playwright James Saunders, which sees three daughters meeting in anticipation of their father’s death.

Post-intermission, melancholy gives way to the delightful tale of mistaken identities in 1890s Paris in The Music Lovers, by French playwright Georges Feydeau and adapted by Reggie Oliver.

Award-winning Australian director Aarne Neeme asks the actors to embrace this jarring tonal shift as part of their training.

He says: “The tragedy of Fall invites compassion for suffering and fear of fate, while the farce of The Music Lovers encourages laughter at the vagaries of life. Life’s ups and downs perfectly encapsulate the essence of this double bill.”

The performance is part of final-year requirements for the five actors studying for a professional diploma in intercultural theatre acting at ITI.

Their names may be recognisable to some. Writer-actor Abinaya Jothi wrote and performed a solo piece in Tamil titled Who’s To Be Sacrificed? at the Solo/Oray Aal, presented in February by the Singapore Indian Theatre and Film Explorers and the Esplanade.

The other four are Singapore performer and playwright Choy Chee Yew, Hong Kong bilingual practitioner Cheng Kam Yiu, Swedish actor Mika Oskarson Kindstrand and Tamil Nadu theatremaker Swathilakshmi Perumal.

Founded in 2000 by the late theatre doyen Kuo Pao Kun and actor and art critic Thirunalan Sasitharan, ITI’s teaching draws from classical and contemporary Asian techniques.

It counts among its graduates Yeo Yann Yann, winner of two Golden Horse Awards; and Grace Kalaiselvi, founder of Brown Voices, Singapore’s first collective of Indian theatre practitioners.

Where: Esplanade Theatre Studio, 1 Esplanade DriveMRT: Esplanade/City HallWhen: Nov 9 and 10, 7.30pm; Nov 11, 2.30 and 7.30pmAdmission: $27Info: str.sg/iNs3


The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

A painter of diverse scenes – from car crashes to interiors of cathedrals – Singapore artist Boo Sze Yang applies his wide-ranging eye to curating this exhibition of small-scale art works.

He puts together 50 pieces by 27 accomplished and emerging artists that he believes serve as a window into each of their distinctive art journeys.

Cultural Medallion recipient Han Sai Por is represented by the fireclay moulds of her microorganisms series. The protrusions from her perforated models are reminiscent of mushrooms or trees in a spherical forest, and continue her interest in deforestation, changing landscapes and nature.

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts lecturer Baet Yoke Kwan’s oil on canvas Study Of King and Study Of Queen have layers of paint washed away to reveal English coins.

He says: “The coin holds significance as it embodies my cherished childhood memories and the experiences of growing up during the post-colonial era. Beyond the personal, my work becomes a vessel for historical exploration, serving as a reminder of the profound impact of our collective history.”

Boo says visitors will also encounter artists who explore “physical ugliness and the darker dimensions of humanity”, including his own motorcycle wrecks that find beauty in the morbid.

Where: 7879 Gallery and Clayworks, 105 Desker Road, 01-01MRT: Farrer ParkWhen: Till Dec 10, Tuesdays to Sundays by appointmentAdmission: FreeInfo: instagram.com/7879galleryandclayworks


Whirlwind: A Musical Adventure

Austin Larson, the newly appointed principal horn of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, joins collective re:Sound in a largely quirky evening of chamber music.

Performed at Victoria Concert Hall, the programme is intentionally curated so that wind instruments, instead of the classical string, take centre stage.

French composer Jean Francaix’s whimsical Musique Pour Faire Plaisir (or music for your pleasure) is set for wind ensemble from the music of fellow French composer Francis Poulenc and opens the night.

There is also prodigy Mozart’s Horn Quintet and his likely satirical A Musical Joke, which plays with musical grammar and which some think he wrote to parody incompetent composers.

Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s dramatic music from his ballet Romeo & Juliet closes.

Where: Victoria Concert Hall, 11 Empress PlaceMRT: City HallWhen: Sunday, 8.15pmAdmission: From $28Info: str.sg/iNsS

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