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One of Singapore’s first English political plays, Are You There, Singapore?, might never have seen light of day

In its 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 second of a monthly 15-part series

Published on Jul 22, 2014 6:28 PM

Play: Are You There, Singapore? (written in 1968, staged in 1974)

Playwright: Robert Yeo

What it's about: The first of Yeo's Singapore Trilogy, the play blends heated debates about Singapore's state of government with the coming-of-age story of a group of Singaporean university students studying abroad in London. The main characters, brother and sister duo Chye and Hua, together with their friends Richard, Fernandez and Sally, undergo a sexual and political awakening of sorts as they compare the openness of London society with their conservative home country. As they navigate an unruly demonstration at Trafalgar Square and an unplanned pregnancy, they learn more about Singapore - and themselves.

One of Singapore's first political plays in English, Are You There, Singapore? might never have seen the light of day if not for some fortuitous house-cleaning.

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