The Vault: 汐/Sea

Written by Haresh Sharma in 1997, Sea is a phantasmagoric journey through the lives of two sisters who can’t live with or without each other, but are always with and without each other.

This short play was staged as part of a double-bill in 1997 at the Substation. On stage as the sisters were Serene Chen and Zelda Tatiana Ng. In the audience were Robin Loon and Casey Lim. The performance left its mark on the both of them. It made such an impression on Robin that he was inspired to re-engage Sea through translation, a creative process that produced 《汐》.

Eighteen years on, Serene, Zelda, Robin and Casey revisit Sea, refreshed with a completely new Chinese translation, 《汐》, alongside Haresh’s English text. In tow are their personal reflections on the 1997 staging.

Don’t miss this one-night-only performance-presentation. Performed in English and Mandarin with surtitles.

Event Details:

Monday, 23 November 2015
8pm @ Centre 42 Black Box

Admission is free. Register now to secure a seat.

About Sea:

Sea is a short but strange conversation between two sisters mysteriously cast adrift in a small boat. Their dialogue is whimsical and peculiar, drifting between past and future events, broaching topics of life and death. SEA’s only staging was in November 1997 by The Necessary Stage as part of a double bill called Moving Home Stories. SEA was directed by Kok Heng Leun and performed by Serene Chen and Zelda Tatiana as the sisters.

Read more about Sea here.

About the Playwright:

Haresh Sharma is one of Singapore’s most prolific playwrights with over 100 plays to his name. He is the author of celebrated plays such as Still Building; Those Who Can’t, Teach; Off Centre; Fundamentally Happy; and Gemuk Girls. Haresh is the resident playwright of The Necessary Stage. He is the recipient of the Singapore Literature Prize (1993), the Young Artist Award (1997), the S.E.A. Write Award (2014), and most recently, the Cultural Medallion (2015).

About 《汐》

《汐》is Chinese translation of Sea by Dr. Robin Loon. With the memory of the 1997 production firmly etched in his mind, Robin wanted to rejuvenate Haresh’s text by rewriting the play in Chinese.

Translation is more than just finding equivalent words in another language. The translator has to employ creative judgment and intimate knowledge of the rhythms and cultural nuances of both languages. The process involves uncovering the meanings behind the original text and ensuring those meanings are effectively communicated in the translation, even if it means extensive re-writing.《汐》, in this sense, is a completely new work. The Chinese title was chosen as it is a homophone of the English title.

Robin is a senior lecturer of Theatre Studies at the National University of Singapore. Apart from his own original works,《汐》is Robin’s second major attempt at translating play-text, the first being 《男男自语》, a Chinese translation of Chay Yew’s A Language of Their Own, staged in 2012.

Programme Handout

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Click on the image to read.

The Programme Handout contains the synopsis of Sea, the methodology applied to the translation, and interesting facts about the artist-collaborators. Click on the image to read.

Excerpts from the script – Prologue and Epilogue

The Prologue and the Epilogue frame the performance-presentation of 汐/Sea and comprise of the artist-collaborators reflection on their journey as theatre practitioners as well as on the process of creating this work.

Read the programme script here.

Find Out More!

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Missed it? Watch it here.

The public showing of 汐/Sea is only one aspect of its reach, and is only the starting point. We believe in long-term web access of our programmes as part of our documentation and resources for the public!

Watch the video recording here.

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


If You Had Attended 汐/Sea

…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



Vault Event Logo

The Vault: 汐/Sea revisits Haresh Sharma’s Sea and refreshes it with a Chinese translation and memories of the 1997 production. Performed by Serene Chen and Zelda Tatiana Ng, in collaboration with Robin Loon and Casey Lim.