Fresh Fringe


14 January 2017, 2pm

Esplanade Rehearsal Studio

240 min with two intermissions







The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival is proud to launch a new series of works in development under the Fresh Fringe category.


2.00pm: Bitten
3.30pm: Intermission

3.45pm: Chrysanthemum Gate
4.35pm: Intermission

4.50pm: Deep in the Heart of Me

5.50pm: Post-Performance Dialogue


Deep in the Heart of Me

Kaylene Tan

60 mins

Part play reading, part object theatre and part Foley session, two performers on a stage assemble and tear apart a relationship over time. Raw and searing, the intimate performance anatomises how the heart gives and forgives.

The text will be read by Nora Samosir and K Rajagopal. Dramaturgy by Janice Koh.

Kaylene Tan is based in Melbourne. Having spent many years working on audio walks, she hopes to bring the intimacy of tone and language from that medium to the stage.


Deep in the Heart of Me is inspired by the phrase "to get under someone's skin" which has two meanings — 1. To provoke, 2. To affect someone very strongly in a way that is difficult to forget.

Love does that, lovers do both of that—to each other. Deep in the Heart of Me is about the physical and mental effects of love. It is also about acting and embodiment—how real life seeps into the creation of a character on stage and the playacting that takes place in the everyday.

Kaylene's aim is to create a multi-layered performance text that captures a relationship that is relatable yet unsettling, words and scenes that get under the audience's skin.


Chrysanthemum Gate

Andrew Sutherland & Chanel Ariel Chan
(Australia | Singapore)

50 mins

Theatre-makers Andrew Sutherland (Australia/Singapore) and Chanel Ariel Chan (Singapore) join together to interrogate contemporary rituals of sexuality, power and race in Singapore. From online hook-ups to theatre history, the performers spiral around one another in a contest of dominance and servitude, artifice and cultural appropriation, luxury and filth, and "flowers" in profusion.

Young, edgy and cruel, Chrysanthemum Gate is an intercultural exploration of the commodification of Asian bodies and of white bodies, and the blurred lines between the identities of the "east" and the "west".

"a complex, ambitious work … Chan is gripping … Sutherland captures his character's moral weakness and sexual subservience excellently"

—David Zampatti, The West Australian

Andrew Sutherland & Chanel Ariel Chan met as classmates in the BA Acting Program at LASALLE College of the Arts, and both graduated with First Class honours in 2014. Their working relationship flourished during the course and after graduation as they continued to collaborate and explore opportunities for theatre making. In 2014, they worked together on Ragnarok, written by Andrew Sutherland himself, a Skinned Knee Productions show at The Substation.


Chrysanthemum Gate explores the all-too-common notions of race that have emerged from the sexual relationships between Caucasian Men and Asian Women in Singapore. It is the frequent tale of the Ang Moh and the "Sarong Party Girl" (SPG). Race is represented obviously by skin colour. As the play progresses, the race and the stereotypes that comes with the skin colour are broken down and line between these two races blurs. At the end, you see the characters' subversion by "exchanging their skins".



Thong Pei Qin & Nidya Shanthini Manokara

90 mins

Performed in English, Tamil and Mandarin

Inspired by the common experience of having fallen prey to the dreaded Aedes mosquito, Pei Qin and Shanthini share their vivid musings of the journey whilst raging against the relentless dengue virus inside the body. The accompanying heightened state of paranoia, and the love and care showered on patients as the battle rages on beneath the skin inspire this piece. Bitten features devised text and physical movement with a spin on Bharata Natyam.

Bitten is an intimate conversation that weaves through personal accounts, morbid Kafkaesque imaginings of love, fear and death, and the eruptions of superstitious beliefs based on traditional cures and remedies. Poignant and itch-inducing, Bitten brings audience into a curious world abuzz with rich Singaporean cultures, the supernatural, and multiple truths. It looks closer at what fundamentally roots all of us, in our generation's attempts to re-connect with our cultures and lineage, especially at the mercy of dropping blood platelet counts.

Thong Pei Qin has a penchant for transgressing disciplinary and cultural boundaries in exploring the human condition. She seeks truthful shared experiences which connect diverse peoples, spaces and beliefs.

Dispelling the notion that everyday life and codified art are distinct hermetically sealed entities, Nidya Shanthini Manokara questions how far an urbanite can resonate with contemporary issues with ideas inspired by her practice in Bharata Natyam.


The skin itches and erupts into a million angry rashes—a manifestation of the patient's paranoid and restless state of mind. Transmitted by the vampiresque “love-bite” of the blood-sucking mosquito, the journey of the dengue virus begins, coursing through the bloodstream and veins in the body.

Bitten borrows from the external physical effects on the body, and delves deeper beneath the skin into the inner human psyche. It re-experience communication across generations, languages, medicine, and the rich socio-familial cultures and histories. Bitten is a bold attempt to reconnect with origins, lineage, and the larger cosmos where traditionally held communal beliefs hail from, by traversing multiple worlds.