M1 Singapore Fringe Festival: Call of the wild

Primal instincts and humans' relationship with animals come under scrutiny in the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival

The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, opening on Jan 13, draws attention to how humans often give in to their most primal instincts lurking beneath the veneer of civilised living.

Themed Art & The Animal, the line-up of 19 programmes curated by festival director Sean Tobin and his team will also examine how humans love and revere certain creatures, but fear and slaughter others.

Audiences will encounter an entire spectrum of animals and animalistic types - from birds to rabbits to human savages who live in the wild - that becomes a lens to examine various issues.

Mr Tobin says: "I wanted to invite work where artists could feel free to be wild. Often, the arts get into a space where we're very rational, especially here. A lot of the festival is quite wild and unpredictable, which is true to the edgy, exploratory nature of the fringe."

The festival promises a slew of theatre, dance and interdisciplinary productions. These range from The Chronicles Of One And Zero: Kancil - which mines an old Malay fable about a mousedeer and is one of four local works commissioned by the festival - to the dark comedy of Hyena Subpoena, a spoken word performance which deals with societal issues using zoological allegories.

There are also art exhibitions and installations, such as Arnia, by Italian artist Andrea Cavallari, which harnesses the deafening roar of 50,000 bees into a soundscape.

Festivalgoers can also check out several fringe activities such as When Bitch Meets Butch, a talk on gender issues by theatremakers Edith Podesta and Tan Liting, moderated by Mr Tobin, as well as a live storytelling session presented by Shireen Abdullah and Petrina Kow, co-founders of storytelling programme Telling Stories Live, at The Fabulous Baker Boy cafe in River Valley Road.

• The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2016: Art & The Animal runs from Jan 13 to 24. Tickets are available from Sistic (go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555). Go to www.singaporefringe.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2015, with the headline 'Call of the wild'. Print Edition | Subscribe