23 – 24 January 2015, 8pm

24 – 25 January 2015, 3pm

Black Box, Drama Centre


Biography of Artist

—60 minutes with no intermission


*concessions for students, NSF & senior citizens

$22 | $19*

Written by Haresh Sharma

Directed by Alvin Tan


How do we exorcise the pain of loss? The Necessary Stage revisits two early works from its repertoire in the doublebill untitled women to explore the ways we deal with loss and how we rise above it.


In untitled women number one, two women talk about their relationships, their past and future. Featuring Edith Podesta and Ethel Yap, the play looks at the notions of pain, death and interdependence, drawing from stories about gender, sexuality and womanhood.


untitled cow number one is about the journey of a widowed cow through 12 days of mourning. Performed by Sharda Harrison and Bani Haykal, the play is influenced by Hindu and Buddhist texts, images and myths, and incorporates physical movement and soundscape.


Both plays have toured successfully to the Macau International Fringe Festival (2000), the Asian Theatre Festival in Busan (2002) and the National Theatre Festival in New Delhi (2003).

"The narrative [of untitled cow number one] is simple yet its delivery as performance is most engaging and enthralling... Beyond its exploration into consciousness, the performance can be seen as a meta-dramatic statement on performance and theatre itself."

- Marcus Tan, The Flying Inkpot, on untitled cow number one


“Their complete stillness belied the forcefulness of their emotions. Evoking themes of womanhood and loss, they stood in contrast to the mound of white flesh in the corner.”

- The Straits Times, on untitled women number one


"What we do see in Sharma's script is an opening up of language, values, issues and discourses previously completely unacceptable to official Singapore".

- Prof David Birch, Interlogue: Studies in Singapore Literature, Vol. 6: Haresh Sharma

Formed in 1987 by our current Artistic Director Alvin Tan, The Necessary Stage (TNS) is a non-profit theatre company with charity status. Our mission is to create challenging, indigenous and innovative theatre that touches the heart and mind. TNS is a recipient of the National Arts Council’s Major Grant FY 2014/2015.


“Both short plays objectify loss. For untitled cow number one, a widow undergoes grief after her husband’s death and for untitled women number one, two women talk about their relationships, past and future. As loss is performed as ritual and theatre in this double-bill, we revisit how pain comes from ownership, the desire for meaning and beauty.


“The question is: can art liberate and/or eradicate, or does it merely relieve us of the inevitable and the recurrent pain of loss—a theme of the human condition that perpetually echoes in all art forms throughout the centuries of human existence? If so, how much is art responsible for perpetuating the association of pain with loss? That was what I was prompted to interrogate after re-reading these two early works by Sharma one day.”


- Alvin Tan, Artistic Director, The Necessary Stage

The Necessary Stage (Singapore)