First Fleet more than another colonisation play

The work, which follows a convict ship manned by British officers headed to Australia to set up the first penal colony, is an ambitious onion which unpeels multiple meanings with each scene change.
The work, which follows a convict ship manned by British officers headed to Australia to set up the first penal colony, is an ambitious onion which unpeels multiple meanings with each scene change.PHOTO: THE POND PHOTOGRAPHY

Writer-director Nelson Chia is a thoughtful, smart theatre-maker who has been beating out his own idiosyncratic path in the Chineselanguage theatre scene.

His latest production, First Fleet, offers all his signature hallmarks: a Chinese reading of Western classics, meditations on the role, and purpose, of art and art-making in the world, and fluid staging that draws from mostly Western theatrical traditions, including physical theatre.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2019, with the headline 'First Fleet more than another colonisation play'. Print Edition | Subscribe