By Lindsay Wong
2020 marks the 30th anniversary of Toy Factory Productions, one of Singapore’s leading theatre companies. Since the company’s founding in 1990, it has produced 73 plays, performed to an audience of at least 650,000 and toured in eight countries across Asia and Africa. Toy Factory aims to reach out to more countries internationally in the future, and continue to operate as a platform for new and young artists to find their creative potential, according to founder and director Goh Boon Teck.
One of Toy Factory’s most notable productions is Titoudao, a multi-lingual musical performance that tells the story of a Hokkien street opera singer. It displays her perseverance and determination as she strives to achieve fame while facing difficult situations. Aside from Titoudao being broadcast as a TV drama on Channel 5 from February, Toy Factory has two upcoming major theatrical productions in the first half of 2020.
7 Sages of the Bamboo Grove (Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts)
- Date: 31 Jan – 1 Feb
- Location: Esplanade Theatre
7 Sages of the Bamboo Grove, an Esplanade Commission for the Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts, is being presented in conjunction with Toy Factory’s 30th anniversary. It has been adapted from the fabled story of the Seven Sages from the Three Kingdoms for the Singaporean contemporary theatre stage in a dystopian setting. A new law has been implemented, forbidding artistic endeavours, and the only people who disobey this law are seven revolutionary artists, whom the play revolves around. This play will explore the relationship between art and society.
A Dream Under the Southern Bough: Existence (Singapore International Festival of Arts)
- Date: 22 – 24 May
- Location: Drama Centre Theatre
In its third consecutive year with Singapore International Festival of Arts, this magnificent tale about love and dreams, told as a trilogy, will finally reach its climactic conclusion which is adapted from the classic Kun opera, A Dream Under the Southern Bough: Existence. This play explores the disparities between dreams and reality as the protagonist is confronted with a series of tragic events in his seemingly perfect life in the Ant Kingdom. The story unfolds in his dream, spanning two decades.