The Arts House is Literally 9! A Writers Party that brings together over 60 of Singapore’s writers and artists
Singapore, 28 February 2013 – Award-winning playwright Jean Tay, prolific Chinese picture book illustrator and writer Lee Kow Fong, renowned dancer/writer Tammy Wong and master storyteller Kamini Ramachandran will headline Literally 9 this March, The Arts House’s anniversary festival to celebrate its 9th birthday. They will lead more than 60 writers and artists to take part in the three-week-long festival based on the theme, Writers Party.
Says William Phuan, Director, The Arts House: “Our anniversary festival Literally 9 is a time for us to recognise the contributions of our writers. As Singapore’s literary arts centre, we want to celebrate the writers’ words and ideas, and enable local audience to experience their works in a visceral manner. The festival will also kick off our theme Writers Party for the House this year.”
Opening the festival on 13 March are two new shows: Sisters – the Untold Stories of the Sisters Islands, a new play by playwright Jean Tay about the myth of the Sisters Islands; and The Colour of Silence by Chinese picture book illustrator and writer Lee Kow Fong (aka Ah Guo).
Sisters is a whimsical yet heartbreaking play that explores the myth and history surrounding the Sisters Islands, and the real-life murder case of a bargirl in the 1960s. The story is brought to life through the use of puppetry and two actresses, Cassandra Spykerman and Amanda Tee, who take on multiple roles in the production.
Kow Fong, whose critically-acclaimed works are known for their distinctively quirky charm, will stage his first-ever solo exhibition, The Colour of Silence. The exhibition showcases a series of illustrated vignettes that invite audiences to create their own stories when looking at seemingly silent characters. Kow Fong will also conduct an artist’s tour and illustration demonstration as part of the festival.
The literary party continues with a full array of book readings and discussions held in conjunction with the launch of 17 new Singapore books. Some of the highlights include Who Let In The Sky? by Kagan Goh, a memoir about his father, the late Singapore literary pioneer Goh Poh Seng; and the second edition of the late Francis Thomas’ Memoirs of a Migrant, which chronicles his life in the former Singapore Labour Party; and dancer/writer Tammy Wong’s When The Bough Breaks.
When The Bough Breaks weaves together tales of indomitable courage, vivacity, loss and hope, which are inspired by Tammy’s encounters with Singapore war heroine Mrs Elizabeth Choy. Tammy will present a special dramatised dance expression, which is adapted from her book, to mark The Arts House’s actual birthday on 26 March. This performance is by invitation only.
In addition, Literally 9 will also feature The Arts House’s first open call where, in the spirit of creating an arts commons, members of the public are invited to propose any arts programme that is free and open to the public. Based on the theme Writers Party, close to 40 proposals were received and some of the notable programmes include Literally Hookups, where participants are invited to meet and discuss about literature speed-dating style; as well as Women Of Peace, a cultural performance based on female characters in the Qur’an.
Children can look forward to master storyteller Kamini Ramachandran’s Making Stories, Telling Stories!workshop, in which she will guide the young ones in making their own shadow puppets and crafting their own storybooks.
Literally 9 runs from 13 to 31 March. Tickets to the ticketed events could be purchased from www.bytes.sg. Please refer to Annex A for the full programme. For more information, please visit www.theartshouse.com.sg.
The media are invited to send a journalist and photographer or cameraman to attend the opening celebrations featuring Sisters and The Colour of Silence on 13 March, and the When The Bough Breaksdance expression on 26 March. A media invite will be sent out nearer to the event date.
Interviews with The Arts House Director William Phuan, and all writers and artistes including playwright Jean Tay, illustrator Lee Kow Fong, dancer/writer Tammy Wong and master storyteller Kamini Ramachandran could be arranged.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Marketing & Communications
The Arts House Box Office
Hotline: 65 6332 6919
Online booking: www.bytes.sg
About The Arts House at The Old Parliament
Occupying the almost 200-year-old building that was Singapore's first Parliament House, The Arts House since its opening in 2004 has been offering its visitors a broad spectrum of lifestyle options, while at the same time playing an active role in the Singapore arts and creative scene. Since 2011, The Arts House has been focusing on the development of Literary Arts, while supporting and presenting programmes and festivals that aim to give a wide and multidisciplinary experience to our audiences. For more information, please visit www.theartshouse.com.sg.