Love/Loathe Your Ride

A chat with the cast of Trainstopping

By Clara Lock, photos courtesy of Sight Lines Productions

They will poke fun at all things Singaporean and lament our bad behavior on trains, but the cast of Trainstopping: The Year In Revue 2011 really just wants you to love your ride.

Trainstopping is a musical revue that takes a satirical look at the events of 2011, including the much talked about MRT breakdowns. And unlike much of the Singaporean population, the cast is startlingly realistic about the train malfunctions.

“If something is old, of course it will break down,” said Darius Tan, one third of the cast, “Trains break down, it’s the most common thing ever, and people just get on with it. You fight, you complain, and then?”

The rhetorical question is what they want people to think about – to reflect upon our daily circumstances and attitudes towards things. Above all, they want audiences to have a good time.

“Singaporeans are a very uptight bunch of people,” said Celine Rosa Tan. “We don’t know how to laugh at ourselves, and that is a very sad thing.”

Derrick Chew helms Trainstopping, staged by new kid on the block Sight Lines Productions, an entertainment company that was established in 2011.

While the cast may be nonplussed about trains breaking down – “I’ve got my iPad,” deadpans Celine Rosa Tan – it is discourteous commuters who really get their goat.

The duo rattle off a string of ways to raise their ire, including people who lean on poles, block the entrances, and blast music from their hand phones.

The worst of which? “Not letting people alight first before you rush to board the train,” said Darius Tan, who has no qualms about telling off rude commuters or flinging out his arms to prevent them from boarding.

“I’m not very good natured,” he said, admitting to having a temper. But the actor, who is also a secondary school drama coach, just wants Singaporeans to take responsibility for their behavior in public.

Singapore is the only country with signs telling you to ‘Please be courteous’ or ‘Don’t pee here’, he said, adding:

“Really? Do you need people to tell you all these basic things? We’re not going to tell people that they have to love their ride.”

“You can love the ride of this show, and you can love the ride of your journey in Singapore,” Chew, the director, chimed in, “Love your ride, and get on with it.”

Trainstopping: The Year In Revue 2011 runs from 26th April – 3rd May at Chamber @ The Arts House. Tickets at $48 from For more information, visit Sight Lines Productions on Facebook.