If you’re looking for things to do in Singapore over the F1 weekend, why not catch a play? Opportunities in showbiz rarely open up to the general public, and when they do, there’s always the need for more representation of race, age, and sex in mainstream media. Enter The Haque Collective, Singapore’s first professional acting collective, providing roles for dedicated performers from all backgrounds and ethnicity with a mission to make acting accessible to anyone with a love for it.
The Haque Collective is led by director Kamil Haque and in-house playwright James Thoo, who facilitate writing and acting workshops at Haque Centre of Acting & Creativity (HCAC). It’s where many famous names (including Crazy Rich Asian’s Henry Golding) have come out on top of their field.
This month, they explore the uncomfortable limbo within forced friendships with The Jugular Vein. Their latest play unravels the stories behind four female friends – Melissa, Grace, Kat, and Ginger, who, by proxy of their husbands, eventually enter bosom buddy territory. Things kick off with pleasantries and photo-taking as the girls throw a party in honour of Grace’s latest engagement. But as deep-seated resentment and contempt begin to bubble beneath the surface of their shallow soirée, the false courtesies eventually fall apart.
Yes, it’s an all-women play written by a man, but James has done his due diligence in research. Working with leading ladies Stephanie Bovis, Jolene Wong, Nadia Dayan, and Aiswarya Nair, the plot’s characters take inspiration from their personal experiences, which add much more depth and intensity beyond the stereotypical “quietly suffering wife” archetypes.
Over the course of the evening, tensions build between our group of “friends”. This lead to outbursts of anger, which eventually devolve into straight-up madness. We’re excited to see how the plot straddles the line between good old anarchy and playing too much into toxic stereotypes, but you’ll have to watch the show to see how things play out.
The Jugular Vein is running from 19 to 20 September 2019 at 8pm, and 21-22 September 2019 3pm and 8pm at 42 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187951. Tickets are priced at S$40, available here. You can also contribute to The Haque Collective’s Kickstarter campaign here.