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Lifestyle
 

Theatre review: Rant & Rave celebrates the journey of Singapore theatre

Published on May 2, 2014 11:00 AM
 
Actresses Janice Koh and Karen Tan star in Rant & Rave, written and directed by Chong Tze Chien, at the Esplanade Theatre Studio. When Rant & Rave was first staged for the Esplanade's 10th anniversary in 2012, it felt very much like a birthday gift, a cake packed with rich ingredients for a celebration of artistry. -- PHOTO: TUCKYS PHOTOGRAPHY

When Rant & Rave was first staged for the Esplanade's 10th anniversary in 2012, it felt very much like a birthday gift, a cake packed with rich ingredients for a celebration of artistry.

It presented our theatre giants to us, fighting the good fight, with its verbatim dialogue culled from newspaper articles and other records, documenting the push and pull of theatre as Singapore's own fourth estate (so to speak).

Two years later, this well-structured gift has matured well; packed into its layers is a deeper excavation of how our theatre industry has come to be. It is a wonderful reminder of how far we have come - but also how far more we have to go.

Writer-director Chong Tze Chien plays documentarian in Rant & Rave, summoning the voices of politicians, journalists, academics, audience members, the general public and, of course, artists themselves, in constructing a portrait of the multitudes it has taken to build the landscape we have today, out of what was once dismissed as a 'cultural desert'.

 
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