The Vault 1.1 ArtsRepublic


Quotable Quotes!

“Centre 42’s been taking baby steps in the right direction and last night, it opened one of its programmes in the best way possible….Not your run-of-the-mill reading, Goh’s When Smiles Are Done and Lim’s A White Rose At Midnight are put in dialogue with one another and with the social and historical context in which these were written, all via newspaper articles, academic essays, a video montage and, of course, excerpts from the pieces themselves, as performed by actresses Serene Chen and Nora Samosir, along with Centre 42’s Robin Loon and Casey Lim.”

~ Mayo Martin, in Today’s For Arts Sake

The Vault 1.1 – Nineteen Sixty-Four

1964 – Singapore was part of Malaysia.
1964 – The year of racial riots between ethnic Chinese and Malays.
1964 – The year when two pioneering Singaporean dramatists wrote English-language plays in response to the lack of local plays that reflected recognisable themes, characters and speech. Prior to 1964, Lim Chor Pee’s Mimi Fan (1962) stood alone in the scene. In 1964, Goh Poh Seng wrote his first play and then, there were two.

2014 – We respond to these two writers’ sophomore creations respectively and collectively. We remember the plays while we refresh our perspectives on them – and retell the stories we see in them. Nora Samosir, Serene Chen, Casey Lim and Robin Loon investigates the texts of When Smiles are Done (Goh Poh Seng) and A White Rose at Midnight (Lim Chor Pee). They will suggest critical relationships between the present and the past while ruminating on their own connections with the texts, Singapore and Singapore theatre.

For one evening only, we invite you to share in these artists’ personal responses in an intimate lecture-performance.

About the Text and the Playwrights:

“When Smiles Are Done” was written by Goh Poh Seng and was first presented by Centre 65 in 1965.

A White Rose at Midnight” was written by Lim Chor Pee and was first staged in 1964 by The Experimental Theatre Club.

Read about them here.

Seven Things to Know About the 1960s:

SEVEN 1960_#12 SEVEN 1960_#2

SEVEN 1960 _#3SEVEN 1960_#4SEVEN 1960_#5SEVEN 1960_#6SEVEN 1960_#7

Artists’ Reflections on the Creation Process:

After spending over a month collaborating on the Nineteen Sixty-Four, we asked Nora Samosir and Serene Chen to share their thoughts on the process of creating this Lecture-Performance working and what it was like for them to be part of this inaugural edition of The Vault.

Read about it here.

Lecture-Performance Handout #1

Prior to the event, the “Insider’s Guide to Enjoying Nineteen Sixty-Four” was emailed to participants who had registered to attend the Lecture-Performance. The guide contains quick tips and explanations on what to expect at our ‘Lecture-Performance’ and who our artist-collaborators are.

Download and read here.

Lecture-Performance Handout #2

The “Participant”s Notes on Nineteen Sixty-Four” was a handout given to all who turned up at the Lecture-Performance. The content within was designed to guide the participant to follow the Lecture-Performance, if required, and provided insight into the working relationship of the artist-collaborators.

Download and read here.

Missed Out on the Live Presentation on 22 September 2014?

Don’t fret. The public showing of The Vault 1.1 – Nineteen Sixty-Four is only one aspect of its reach, and is only the starting point. We believe in long-term public web access of our programmes. A repackaged video recording of the Lecture-Performance is made available here as part of our documentation and resources for the public!

View the video here.

Alternatively, visit our event album for a brief peek into what it was like on that day.

If You Had Attended the Lecture-Performance…

…Centre 42 and our collaborators would love to hear from you. Your responses will help us with the next creation process of The Vault, and more importantly, help the artists in their personal reflections of the work. Write to us at