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15 – 25 May 2014
(No performance on Mondays)

8pm (Tuesday – Saturday)
Additional 2:30pm Matinee performance on Saturday & Sunday
Duration: 165 min (including interval)

SOTA Studio Theatre

Senang is inspired by a forgotten tale from Singapore’s past – the bloody prison riots that took place on Pulau Senang, located 15 miles south of Singapore. In 1960, the island was used in a bold experiment, led by Superintendent Daniel Dutton, an Irishman who believed he could reform the inmates through labour, and abolished the use of arms to police them. This is the story of one man’s attempt to create a utopian penal colony, which tragically led to his violent end.

Over the next three years, the detainees transformed the island into a jail without bars, as they constructed the prison settlement from scratch. However, things went horribly wrong on 12 July 1963, when a bloody riot initiated by the detainees led to the death of three officers and the burning of the settlement.

Performed in Mandarin, English, Hokkien and Cantonese (with English & Chinese surtitles). This is the story of one man’s attempt to create a utopian penal colony, which tragically led to his violent end.

This performance is the fruition of a developmental process that began as a public play read in January 2013.

Some Mature Content and Coarse Language

Directed by Kok Heng Leun
Written by Jean Tay
Performed by Oliver Chong
Neo Hai Bin
Ong Kian Sin
Rei Poh
Peter Sau
Tay Kong Hui
Chad O'Brien
Set Design Wong Chee Wai
Lighting Design Lim Woan Wen
Sound Design Jeffrey Yue
Costume Design Anthony Tan
Movement Choreography Lim Chin Huat

About Jean Tay

Jean Tay graduated in 1997 with a double-degree in creative writing and economics from Brown University, USA, where she studied playwriting under Paula Vogel and Nilo Cruz. Plays produced include “Boom” (2008, 2009, 2012), “Everything but the Brain” (2005, 2007), “Plunge” (2001, 2009), “Hopper’s Women” (co-written with Cindy Koh, 2000), “The Knot” (1999) and “Water from the Well” (1998). Jean has also written the books for the musicals “The Admiral’s Odyssey” (2005), the National University of Singapore's Centennial musical “Man of Letters” (2006), and a children's musical “Pinocchio” (2010). Her plays have been performed in Singapore, the US, the UK, and Italy. Jean attended the prestigious month-long International Playwriting Residency in 2007, organised by the Royal Court Theatre in London. She has also participated in LaMama's International Playwrights' Retreat in Umbria, Italy in 2010, under the tutelage of Lynn Nottage. Most recently, her play “The Shape of the Bird” received a staged reading at the Lark Play Development Centre in New York in March 2012.

In 2000, “The Knot” was awarded 1st prize for Action Theatre's 10-minute Play Competition and selected as a finalist for the Actors Theatre of Louisville's 10-minute Play Contest. She has been nominated three times for Best Original Script for the Life! Theatre Awards, and won for the play “Everything But the Brain” in 2006. For her fiction, she was awarded Weston Prize for Fiction from Brown, as well as the 1st and 3rd prizes for the National Arts Council's Golden Point Short Story competition in 1995 and 2001 respectively.

Jean was attached to the Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) as resident playwright from 2006-2009, and since the start of 2012, she has been helming SRT's Young Company Writing Programme. She is also an adjunct lecturer in Creative Writing at the Nanyang Technological University. Her plays “Everything but the Brain” and “Boom” are published by Epigram Books, and “Boom” is currently used as an 'O' and 'N' Level literature text for secondary school students.


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