A singular triumph for Wild Rice

Helmi Yusof
Published Thu, Nov 27, 2014 · 09:50 PM
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MYTH, mirth and mayhem make Wild Rice's adaptation of Chinese epic Monkey Goes West one of the funniest and most satisfying rides in Singapore theatre this year. It is the latest of the company's annual pantomimes and possibly its most accomplished yet.

It condenses the 400-year-old, 2,000-page epic into a two-hour show and localises it with plenty of Singaporean humour. Throw in gorgeous costumes by Thailand's Tube Gallery and toe-tapping music by Elaine Chan and Bang Wenfu, and you have a China-meets-Singapore by way of English, Singlish, Hokkien and Malay.

Directed by Sebastian Tan, whose popular stage persona as Broadway Beng influences the script's wealth of Hokkien quips, Monkey Goes West tells the story of Ah Tang (Joshua Lim), an orphan living in Jurong West who goes to Haw Par Villa to relive his memories of the time he spent there with his late mother.

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