OH! presented by AGNI KOOTTHU (THEATRE OF FIRE)

This entry is part of 33 in the series 20080724_Issue

அறிவிப்பு


OH! presented by AGNI KOOTTHU (THEATRE OF FIRE)
written & directed by ELANGOVAN
performed by Ahamed Ali Khan, Dew M. Chaiyanara, Gillian Tan, Hemang Yadav, Lee Gao Ju,
Max Ling & Shaiful Risan
Music by Eaddy & Lee Gao Ju
Production & Stage Manager: S Thenmoli
Sat 2 & Sun 3 Aug 2008 8 pm $20 Guinness Theatre, The Substation
Tickets available at The Substation box-office (63377800)
RA-18 (Restricted Artistic-18 years and above only)

I love Singapore. It is an honest mistake. What to do?

Do you think I, a magician have gone mad? You belief you are normal because you think you are mentally organized? You are proud that you are cultured and refined as your behaviour is deemed socially acceptable by other monkeys around you? You have joined the tribe that listens, thinks and excretes the same and forms the majority segment of this society? You are sane and only your dominant group will define insanity for those like me who dance to a different beat? What will happen to your world when I get an opportunity to re-define your sanity with my magic wand at a convenience store? Have you ever been possessed by a chatty ghost before? Have you ever helped your senile mother to slice her jugular vein? Have you heard voices ringing non-stop in your head telling you to terminate those who: – do not sing the national anthem because it is the language of a race you can’t stand; switch off the life-support system of the local braindead soldier for organ transfer to save a foreign dictator; blackmail and molest the pizza-delivery boy for being late; interrogate the idealistic reporter for telling the truth; stab any foreign talent for refusing to appreciate your magic at the hawker centre? My home-visit is due. I tak boleh tahan (cannot take it) anymore. Can I kill someone with kindness please? Another critical satire on the dark side of Singapore’s socio-politics by bilingual poet-playwright-director Elangovan. Elangovan, known for his controversial writings received the 1997 SEA (South-East Asia) Write Award, Southeast Asia’s premier literary prize, in Bangkok, Thailand for his bilingual contribution to literature (poetry) and theatre in Singapore. Elangovan’s books are available at: http://www.selectbooks.com.sg/ & http://www.earshot.com.sg


ELANGOVAN, bilingual poet, playwright-director, screenwriter, literary editor, transcreator, and pioneer of modern Tamil poetry and Tamil experimental theatre in Singapore, obtained a BA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) and a MA (Middlesex University, UK) in Theatre Directing. He has been a freelance-journalist, teacher, television film-cameraman (then Singapore Broadcasting Corporation), Welfare Officer (closed institution for delinquents), Probation Officer and Prison Welfare Officer. He worked as an Arts Administrator with the National Arts Council from 1987 to 2000, Lecturer (Drama) at the Division of Performing Arts, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts from 2001 to 2003, an Associate (Literary) at The Centre for the Arts, National University of Singapore in 2004, a Security Executive, from 2005 to 2006, a Drama Teacher at an international school in 2007, and is currently an Admin. Manager. He is the Artistic Director of Agni Kootthu (Theatre of Fire).
He has published three collections of poetry: Vizhichannalkalin Pinnalirunthu (Behind Windows of Eyes), 1979, Mounavatham (Silent Annihilation), 1984, and Transcreations (a bilingual collection), 1988, and ten collections of plays, DOGS and Other Plays, 1996, TALAQ (Divorce), 1999, BUANG SUAY and Other Plays, 2001, FLUSH – recipient of the Singapore Internationale Award, 2002, MINES, 2003, OODAADI (Medium) – recipient of the Singapore Internationale Award, 2003, O$P$ (OweMoneyPayMoney), 2004, 1915 – recipient of the Singapore Internationale Award, 2005, SMEGMA, 2006, and P (Shit), 2007.
His works have been anthologized in The Poetry of Singapore (1985) and The Fiction of Singapore (1990) in the Anthology of ASEAN Literatures series, and ASEANO – An anthology of poems from Southeast Asia (1995), Philippines, Voices of Singapore (1989), Words For The 25th (1990), Singapore: Places, Poems, Paintings (1993), Journeys: Words, Home and Nation (1995) and Rhythms-A Singaporean Millennial Anthology of Poetry (2000). He was one of the literary editors of: SINGA – the journal of literature and the arts in Singapore, from 1990 to 1993 and 1997 to 1998, The Fiction of Singapore, Words For The 25th and Voices 4 (1995).
He has represented Singapore in the 2nd Asian Poetry Festival, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1989, 3rd & 4th Southeast Asian Writers’ Conferences in Singapore, 1987 and Philippines, 1990, 3rd World Poetry Reading, Malaysia, 1990, and 1st ASEAN Writers’ Conference / Workshop, Malaysia, 1992, and was a member of the first multilingual literary delegation’s trip to China in Apr 1999 organised by The Centre For The Arts & The Association of Singapore Writers (Chinese). He represented Singapore in the Singapore Writers Festivals in 1988, 1993 and 2005, and the Ubud International Writers Festival, Bali, Indonesia in Oct 2005.
He has also conducted poetry and playwriting workshops and mentored for the Creative Arts Programme series from 1991 to 1993, 1998, 1999 and 2004, organised by the Gifted Education Unit of the Ministry of Education and The Centre for The Arts, National University of Singapore. His bilingual poem Hairline was displayed in the MRT: Poems on the Move series by the National Arts Council in Jan 1999.
He wrote the story, screenplay and dialogues for the 13-week teledrama SOOR (High) based on true drug-abuse case-studies in Singapore and it was telecasted on Vasantham Central of the Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS) in 2003. DOGS was staged by the Hearts & Eyes Theatre at the Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa, Jul 1996. DOGS was given a staged reading in the Typhoon III Festival at the Soho Theatre, London in Jun 2004, a rehearsed reading at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in Oct 2004 and staged in the doublebill ‘Typhoon Live’ at the Oval House Theatre (Off West End), London from 9 to 13 Oct 2007 by the Yellow Earth Theatre – UK’s flagship award-winning East Asian theatre company based in London. P (SHIT) was staged by Teater Ekamatra, a leading Malay theatre group in Singapore, Mar 2006.
Since 1991, he has written, adapted, transcreated and directed numerous plays for Agni Kootthu (Theatre of Fire), a prominent bilingual exploratory theatre group in Singapore. His major unpublished plays include Becak (Trishaw) Puli (Tiger), Sangre (Blood), Mirugam II (Animal II), Buddha’s Handgrenade, Transportation and I, BOSE. His works have been staged in Australia, UK, South Africa, Spain and India. He has also participated as a Dramaturg: MOSAIC Youth Theatre of Detroit, USA, Dec 2000, UNESCO International Theatre Festival, Sinaia, Romania, Jul 2001, and at the FIESTA! International Experimental Theatre Festival, Dec 2001, Caracas, Venezuela.
Known to be controversial, irreverent and provocative, his works explore the untouched realities in Singapore. He believes that art should conscientise, confront and question accepted societal stereotypes of vision, perception, feeling and judgement to examine reality as a historical and social process. He received the 1997 SEA (South-East Asia) Write Award, Southeast Asia’s premier literary prize, in Bangkok, Thailand for his bilingual contribution to literature (poetry) and theatre in Singapore.

Elangovan’s books are available at: http://www.selectbooks.com.sg/ & http://www.earshot.com.sg


 

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