Keep Calm and Makan

Colourful sets and performers… What’s not to like?


By Rahimah Rashith, Ezzaty Hamid and Luqman Hakim

Makanplace is known as Singapore’s 1st ever, original stage musical.  24 years later, the dearly loved production comes back to life at The Republic Cultural Centre (TRCC).

Though still headed by the original playwright R. Chandran from Act 3 Theatrics, the play was this time staged by students and staff of Republic Polytechnic.

Set in the 1980s, Makanplace is the story of 2 young boys who dream of making it big in the midst of daily life at the hawker stalls owned by their parents.

Siew is a charming young student who takes tuition lessons in the midst of the noisy Makanplace from his beautiful teacher whom he develops a crush on. Though much older, age seems to be of no factor when Siew gazes at her with puppy dog eyes.

Zil is a young teenager who dreams of making it big as a famous entertainer.  He is a quirky, larger than life character who is not afraid to burst into a dance movie or start signing for his patrons (regardless of whether they appreciate it). As the son of Pak Cik’s drink stall however, the Makanplace is his only stage to showcase his dancing and singing talent.

The play starts off with a medley of cast members dancing to the opening tune of Makanplace. It then moves into a love ballad with a school boy, Siew, who is in love with his English tutor. This is followed by a bubbly and cheerful performance by the teh tarik man Rahim, who sings about, well… making teh tarik! The spotlight then changes to Zil, an aspiring entertainer helping his father at his mee rebus shop. He sings with a talent agent about his dreams to becoming an entertainer.

Makanplace is a colorful musical with equally colorful characters, which proved to be the highlight of the show. Zil and Rahim took the spotlight in the musical because of their engaging performance and admirable qualities, along with their endearing messages of hope and compassion.