M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2019 is back next January, with more dynamic works in the lineup than ever. This time, the festival centers around Singaporean artist Suzann Victor’s seminal work, Still Waters (Between Estrangement and Reconciliation). Presenting works by various contemporary artists, both local and foreign alike, you can expect thought-provoking performances that discuss the reclamation of alternative or suppressed histories and memories.

For those looking for a place to start, we’ve curated a list of 10 highlights to check out this coming M1 Singapore Fringe Fest 2019.

Estrangement and Reconciliation: A Talk With Suzann Victor

Join Sean Tobin, Artistic Director of M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, in a conversation with Suzann Victor. The discussion centers around her artistic practice, with a particular focus on Still Waters and the concerns and contentions behind and beyond it. The aesthetics and politics of body and space, as well as her experiences leading 5th Passage, an important but now defunct Singapore arts collective from the early 1990s.

Estrangement and Reconciliation: A Talk With Suzann Victor is held on 12 January 2019, at the Moving Image Gallery, SAM at 8Q. Admission is Free. Entry is on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Catamite

An intimate interactive experience, beginning in the form of an artist lecture and dialogue with the artist, Loo Zihan, himself. The piece questions identity through one’s relationship with their possessions; join Zihan in examining the fictional and the factual in a bid to meditate on the contingency of identity and being. Do note that each performance is admitting only 20 audience-participants per show, due to the nature of the work, so tickets are limited.

Catamite is showing from 25 – 27 January 2019, at Black Box, Centre 42. Tickets can be purchased here for $27 and $19 concession for students, senior citizens, NSF, and PWD cardholders. 

The Adventures of Abhijeet

From Singapore-based youth theatre collective, Patch and Punnet, comes a whimsical tale about a man’s quest to save his family and his search for equality. Abhijeet’s adventures in the magical paradise of Singaland is a thought-provoking reflection on the living conditions of Singapore’s migrant workers. Catch Patch and Punnet as they lend their perspective on a community often treated unkindly, and seen as abject and useless.

The Adventures of Abhijeet is showing on 20 January 2019, at the Esplanade Annexe Studio. Tickets can be purchased here for $15.

A Fortunate Man

New Perspectives teams up with acclaimed theatre maker Michael Pinchbeck to create an expressionistic and powerful interrogation about the passions and pressures of being a doctor in the modern world. Inspired by the book A Fortunate Man, written by John Berger with photographs by Jean Mohr, which similarly followed the life of John Sassall, a general practitioner who took his own life shortly after the book’s publication. Part theatre-lecture, this performance is a poignant musing on the hidden instabilities present under the placid surface of society.

A Fortunate Man is showing from 18 – 19 January 2019, at the Esplanade Theatre Studio. Tickets can be purchased here for $27 and $19 concession for students, senior citizens, NSF, and PWD cardholders.

Q&A (The 36 Questions)

Based on the 36 Questions that supposedly lead to love from The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness (1977) by psychologist Arthur Aron and colleagues, this beautiful dance interpretation is courtesy of British-Israeli award-winning choreographer Rachel Erdos. Q&A is a piece that breaks down barriers within ourselves and with others. The closeness of the dancers to the audience creates a space for intimate connection to bloom and a sense of safety in being vulnerable.

Q&A (The 36 Questions) is showing from 25 – 26 January 2019, at Esplanade Theatre Studio. Tickets can be purchased here for $27 and $19 concession for students, senior citizens, NSF, and PWD cardholders. 

This is Where

Singaporean artist Sean Cham captures familiar local sites through a satirical lens. Highlighting the proliferation of construction sites and migrant workers instead of the heritage site itself, Cham reveals the ever-changing landscapes of Singapore and its similarly inconsistent trails of history and culture. You can catch his photographic works in selected JCDecaux bus shelters around Singapore.

This Is Where is exhibited across Singapore at selected JCDecaux bus shelter, from 26 December 2018 – 29 January 2019.

Precise Purpose Of Being Broken

Adapted from texts by Haresh Sharma, this multi-lingual work (performed in English, Malay, Tamil, and Hokkien) reflects the very human nature of being broken. Portraying the broken and doomed, and the illuminated and hopeful, director Koh Wan Ching’s show is a celebration of uncertainty and complexity where characters negotiate the instabilities of identity, language, and place.

Precise Purpose of Being Broken is showing from 24 – 26 January 2019, at Esplanade Annexe Studio. Tickets can be purchased here for $27 and $19 concession for students, senior citizens, NSF, and PWD cardholders. 

Ayer Hitam: A Black History Of Singapore

A lecture performance starring Sharon Frese, a British Afro-Caribbean theatre practitioner, Ayer Hitam is an exploration of the history and influence of the African diaspora in Singapore. In uncovering a rarely discussed black culture that’s part of our local heritage, Frese will be sharing documents and images relating to slavery, colonialism, jazz, and nationalist struggle.

Ayer Hitam: A Black History of Singapore is showing from 17 – 20 January 2019, at Black Box, Centre 42. Tickets can be purchased here for $27 and $19 concession for students, senior citizens, NSF, and PWD cardholders. 

Yesterday It Rained Salt

The performance follows Azman as he returns to his island home, only to be greeted by new sights and vanishing landmarks. A multi-disciplined work combining text, dance, and performance that examines the violence that comes with departures and returns, and the comforts found in memory and rituals. Written by Nabilah Said, choreographed by Norhaizad Adam, and performed by the Bhumi Collective, expect to confront your own ideas of connections and disconnections with self, other, and place.

Yesterday It Rained Salt is showing on 19 January 2019, at the Esplanade Annexe Studio. Tickets can be purchased here for $15.

Angkat: A Definitive, Alternative, Reclaimed Narrative Of A Native

Subverting norms of genre and dramatic form, the re-imagining of a young Singaporean trying to find her footing amidst the rough seas by playwright Nabilah Said and director Noor Effendy Ibrahim expound on the festival’s theme, Still Waters. Perceiving the sea being a physical border that demarcates Singapore, the play looks at the fluid boundaries of nations and identity through the intertwining histories of a mother and daughter.

Angkat: A Definitive, Alternative, Reclaimed Narrative Of A Native is showing from 24 – 26 January 2019, at NAFA Studio Theatre. Tickets can be purchased here for $27 and $19 concession for students, senior citizens, NSF, and PWD cardholders. 

Top Image: Still Waters by Suzann Victor