The Vault: Dialects and Dialectics


Two monologues by Kuo Pao Kun performed in Cantonese and Teochew

“No Parking On Odd Days” and “The Coffin Is Too Big For The Hole” are two of late theatre doyen Kuo Pao Kun’s most famous monologues. Both works have been staged in English and Mandarin numerous times since they were written in the mid-1980s. In “Dialects & Dialectics”, Nelson Chia – the artistic director of Nine Years Theatre – works with actors Hang Qian Chou and Tay Kong Hui to explore the cultural sentiments and grassroots sensibilities of these plays by staging them in Chinese dialects. Come catch this double-bill showcase performed in Cantonese and Teochew. Chinese and English surtitles are provided.


Admission price: Give-What-You-Can
(Cash only, at the door)



About Nelson Chia

Nelson Chia is an actor, director and theatre educator. Trained in the Suzuki Method of Actor Training and Viewpoints, he has performed on the Singapore stage for over two decades in both English and Mandarin productions. Nelson holds an MA in Directing from Goldsmiths College and has directed over 25 major productions. He is best known for his translation, adaptation and direction of old and contemporary classics in Mandarin. Nelson previously headed the Department of Theatre at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, and lectured at LASALLE College of the Arts and the Theatre Studies Programme at the National University of Singapore. In 2012, Nelson co-founded the award-winning Nine Years Theatre with his wife Mia Chee.

About Nine Years Theatre

Nine Years Theatre is a local Mandarin theatre company founded by Nelson Chia and Mia Chee in 2012. Its aims are to reimagine classic plays in Chinese, as well as to create new work. The company has won multiple awards for its productions, such as its Mandarin adaptations of Yasmina Reza’s Art and Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men. In 2013, the Nine Years Theatre Ensemble (NYTE) was established so that a group of actors can train together on a regular basis via systematic methods. To date, the NYTE is the only actor ensemble of this nature in Singapore.

Programme Handout

Programme from The Vault: Dialects & Dialectics



Find out more about the plays:

VA DD Engagement Pieces Buttons4

VA DD Engagement Pieces Buttons3

Missed Dialects & Dialectics? You can view the video documentation of one of the performances here:


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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 the cultural sentiments and grassroots sensibilities of these plays by staging them in Cantonese and Teochew respectively.