Biography of Artist

22 - 24 January 2015, 8pm

Gallery Theatre, Basement

National Museum of Singapore

—90 minutes with no intermission


$22 | $19*

*concessions for students, NSF & senior citizens

A group of 20-somethings turns up at an 80s mosaic playground the evening before it is due for demolition. Over the span of the night, what starts out as an earnest protest event turns into an unravelling of relationships and betrayals, enacting on a quieter level questions of the respective costs of progress and nostalgia. By turns funny, poignant and melancholy, Mosaic is a love-song to generation Y's hang-ups and dramas, exploring the struggles people go through to hold on to things that have long slipped into the past.


Mosaic is produced by young people's theatre, Take Off Productions, and supported by Perpendicular People Productions, a collective of young technical theatre practitioners.


Take Off Productions is a network of young theatre practitioners dedicated to supporting independent youth theatre in Singapore. It is committed to staging and promoting new writing by young Singapore dramatists while also encouraging interest in the managerial and technical aspects of theatre-making.


Perpendicular People Productions (PPP) is a theatre collective with an inclination towards technical design such as Lighting, Sound, Staging and Multimedia. It provides technical support to productions and also mentorship and hands-on platforms for young theatre technicians looking to learn the ropes.


Mosaic engages with an ongoing conversation in Singapore society about the loss of cultural, social and historical heritage, mapping that loss as continuous with a larger story about change and letting go in our personal lives. It is a play that holds up the personal as a mirror and metaphor for the social and the political.


As a play about a young woman starting a campaign to save an 80s-era playgrounds, it is political. It engages with young Singaporeans’ feelings of displacement from their own country. The young people in this play are possessed by the heightened sense in recent years that our past is a rich source of identity, meaning and coolness. They participate in a belief that to be of-today is, ironically, to lament, fight against and reverse the rapid loss of our yesterday.


But they’re also aware that the past is a dream, ultimately inaccessible and subject to readings upon readings, dully and imperfectly re-constituted, rose-coloured and often performed, worn or re-deployed as a way to score cultural credit, to cope with the hollowness of living in present-day Singapore. It is a present inherited as the future of a dis-regarded past. The play grapples with the idea that there is no real fight to preserve the past; the notion is tautological, even if the politics are appealing and progressive.


This sense of the past-as-political-cause—its melancholy nature—underscores the flawed interpersonal relationships that unfold throughout the play. It is, after all, also the story of a young couple struggling to hold their relationship together in the course of a night. It is about change, about holding on to things that have long passed away; it is about learning to let go in order to grow, a struggle reflected both in the political and the personal.


These two levels of the play create a tension between nostalgia and progress, holding on and letting go, and is an artistic intervention in a larger Singapore discussion about who we are, who we once were and who we ought to be. It presents many questions about our projects of the past, projects of memory, but offers no easy answers.

Take Off Productions (Singapore)



Some Mature Content and Coarse Language