The Vault

The Vault safe-keeps Singaporean works dating back to our early theatre years. The platform does not merely document the past but manifests as contemporary responses to these works presented at Centre 42 premises. The Centre invites artists and practitioners to respond critically and personally to canonical Singapore classics, lesser known pieces and rarities, reworks and adaptations, and cross-cultural and cross-genres works.
The following articles provide an overview and documentation of each instalment of The Vault.
The Vault: Absence Makes the Heart…

The Vault: Absence Makes the Heart…

  The Vault: Absence Makes the Heart… traces the presence and absence of Indian roles in Singapore English-language theatre. Written by Aswani Aswath and dramaturged by Alfian Sa’at, and featuring the actors Rebekah Sangeetha Dorai, Sivakumar Palakrishnan and Grace Kalaiselvi.  
(Video) Dialects & Dialectics

(Video) Dialects & Dialectics

The Vault: Dialects & Dialectics was presented in three showcases on 5 & 6 May 2017. Nelson Chia, the artistic director of Nine Years Theatre, directed “No Parking on Odd Days” and “The Coffin Is Too Big For The Hole”, monologues written…
About The Coffin Is Too Big For The Hole

About The Coffin Is Too Big For The Hole

Synopsis The monologue by Kuo Pao Kun is centred on a man who has been tasked to oversee the funeral of his grandfather. It emerges that the grand coffin is too large to fit into the standard-sized grave that has…
About No Parking On Odd Days

About No Parking On Odd Days

Synopsis Kuo Pao Kun’s 1984 monologue examines the rigidity – and sometimes absurdity – of bureaucracy through a series of confrontations that a man has with the authorities over parking tickets. First Stagings The English version of No Parking On Odd…
The Vault: Dialects and Dialectics

The Vault: Dialects and Dialectics

  The Vault: Dialects and Dialectics revisits two monologues by the late local theatre doyen Kuo Pao Kun: No Parking On Odd Days and The Coffin Is Too Big For The Hole. Nine Years Theatre’s artistic director Nelson Chia explores…
About “Playing Mothers”

About “Playing Mothers”

Synopsis Playing Mothers is an exploration of the concept of motherhood. The play follows seven characters, both female and male, and all mothers in their own way. In a Straits Times article dated 10 Jan 1996, playwright Ovidia Yu said “anyone can mother a…
About “The Lunar Interviews”

About “The Lunar Interviews”

Synopsis The Lunar Interviews is a series of seven monologues in which moon goddesses Chang Er, Diana, and Hina – from Chinese, Roman, and Polynesian mythologies respectively – recount tales of both divine creation and mundane loneliness. The stories touch on themes…
The Vault: Becoming Mother

The Vault: Becoming Mother

      The Vault: Becoming Mother is the third and final presentation in a series dedicated to exploring dance and Singapore play-text. Grounded in their dance practices of bharata natyam and ballet respectively, Shanthini and Jocelyn respond to themes of creation and creativity…
(Documentation) Becoming Mother

(Documentation) Becoming Mother

The Vault: Becoming Mother was presented on 19 March 2017. Dance practitioners and researchers Dr. Nidya Shanthini Manokara and Jocelyn Chng presented the findings of their research into motherhood, dance and text, in a devised performance, and an exhibition. A 60-minute recording of the…
(Video) Dancing the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

(Video) Dancing the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Vault: Dancing the Good, the Bad and the Ugly was presented on 24 February 2017 in front of a live audience. Contemporary dance artist Lee Mun Wai presents his artistic response to the works of playwright Elangovan, specifically the three banned plays Talaq, Smegma,…
About Stoma

About Stoma

Synopsis Stoma – which refers to a natural opening in the body – is a play written by Elangovan, centring on a disgraced former priest who had been defrocked over alleged sex abuse. Over seven scenes, he undergoes a surreal, graphic…
About Smegma

About Smegma

Synopsis Titled after the cheese-like secretions found in genitals, Smegma comprises a series of ten short plays, each examining the many faces of power and exposing a different aspect of exploitation within society. This is how playwright Elangovan describes the multi-vignette…
About Talaq

About Talaq

Synopsis Talaq – which means “divorce” – is a one-woman play about Nisha, a Muslim girl from India who is married off at the age of 16 to a Singaporean man twice her age. She finds out that her husband has…
The Vault: Dancing the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Vault: Dancing the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Vault: Dancing the Good, the Bad and the Ugly is the second of three presentations exploring dance and Singapore play-text. Through dance, Singaporean contemporary dance artist Lee Mun Wai responds to the plays Talaq, Smegma and Stoma written by playwright Elangovan.    …
Video – The Vault: Leng-Geh-Mng

Video – The Vault: Leng-Geh-Mng

The Vault: Leng-Geh-Mng  龍牙門 was presented in the company of an audience on 16 July 2016. Leng-Geh-Mng (“Dragon’s Tooth Gate”) is a comedy which spoofs the conventions of pugilistic films set in ancient China. This play was written by playwrights Lee Shyh Jih…
Documentation – The Vault: Distilling the Dance

Documentation – The Vault: Distilling the Dance

The Vault: Distilling the Dance was presented from 2-6 July 2016. Distilling the Dance was a multi-format presentation seeking to present dance beyond the frame of performance. Singapore-based independent interdisciplinary artist Kiran Kumar created four configurations of movement, text and image: an essay-performance,…
The Bilingual Policy

The Bilingual Policy

A lot of factors go into the decline of languages in a country, but here are some events in Singapore history that led to the diminished use of Chinese dialects among the Chinese population. When Singapore separated from Malaysia in…
Five Facts About Leng-Geh-Mng

Five Facts About Leng-Geh-Mng

The Vault: Leng-Geh-Mng is a revisit of the first martial arts production in Singapore theatre of the same title by theatre-maker Zelda Tatiana Ng. Under her direction and alongside some of the original cast members, Leng-Geh-Mng is retold in the…
Five Times Drama Box Broke New Ground

Five Times Drama Box Broke New Ground

    Established in 1990 by Kok Heng Leun, the founding artistic director, Drama Box is a theatre company that is best known for staging socially-engaging works in both English and Mandarin. Over the last 26 years, it has collected…
Kiran Kumar

Kiran Kumar

Born in Bangalore and based in Singapore, Kiran Kumar is an artist, researcher and writer who specialises in dance-centric projects. He first graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in 2006 and began his career as an information technology analyst, but…