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5 reasons why Robert Yeo's Are You There, Singapore? is a classic play

Published on Jul 21, 2014 1:32 PM
Are You There, Singapore? by Robert Yeo. -- PHOTO: COURTESY OF ROBERT YEO

In its relatively short, 50-year history, Singapore’s English-language theatre has had its share of memorable plays. Life! picks the classics and tells you why they matter in this new monthly 15-part series, titled Classic Singapore Plays, that runs till August 2015.

The play Are You There, Singapore? (1974) by Robert Yeo is the second instalment in the series. Here are five reasons why it is a classic:

1) The play marked one of the very few Singapore voices in the 1970s, after an initial burst of effort in the 1960s to create some sort of national theatre had simmered down to a lukewarm slow burn.

Playwright Robert Yeo says, “There were directors who showed no sympathy for Singapore plays. Goh Poh Seng was on to other things and Lim Chor Pee had retired from playwriting. So no one would give the Singapore play its due. There were producers who just wanted to do Anglo-American plays.”

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