Singapore — Mark the 18th edition of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival from 12 to 23 Jan 2022!
The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival returns in January 2022 with the theme The Helpers, featuring a host of works presented in theatre and online.
As with Fringe 2021, the festival’s artistic directorship will be undertaken by Alvin Tan, Artistic Director of The Necessary Stage.
THEME: THE HELPERS
In selecting The Helpers as the Fringe theme for 2022, emphasis on the importance of human kindness and care for each other was taken into account, as a means of rising above the fatigue from the seemingly never-ending pandemic.
The theme also explores alternative support structures, in a time when many individuals feel bereft of aid rendered by traditional institutions.
As we speak at the end of November 2021, we are still faced with waves of COVID-19 infection throughout the world, with disparities of access and privilege between communities perhaps higher than ever.
Yet we continue to see ground-up efforts by ordinary people who are taking the initiative to offer assistance to others around them.
What sustains the helpers among us during this gruelling journey? How is the wider society treating these helpers, and are we providing them with adequate support beyond appreciation?
The Fringe team has been inspired by the submissions from artists throughout the world who continue to create work sensitively during multiple lockdowns and restrictions.
They have curated a line-up of nine events from Singapore and around the world that is thoughtfully grappling with topics such as the climate emergency, doxxing, and the refugee crisis, all responding to the theme The Helpers in their own way.
A key sub-theme that artists responded to in Fringe 2022 is the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on people and the environment.
Two works by young Singaporean theatre companies look at our behaviour through the lens of social media and content creation.
Screen. Shot. by Bound Theatre (Singapore) looks at doxxing and cancel culture when a child disappears, and an adult in power is accused of being a paedophile.
The Second Breakfast Company (Singapore) tackles the hot topic of our attitudes towards essential workers during the pandemic with their cheeky play The Essential Playlist.
Then there are also the tender, sensitive explorations of complicated human relationships in the following two works. Written by Raimi Safari, Rindu di Bulan (明月千里寄相思) by Rupa co.lab (Singapore) juxtaposes the Chinese myth of Chang-E with a mother’s relationship with her adopted son, and…
… examine how hope and love can transcend biological familial ties co-choreographed and performed by partners Travis Clausen-Knight and James Pett (United Kingdom) — IMAGO is a dance film that challenges us to look at the toxic nature of abusive relationships.
Responding directly to the disconnection we are facing in this COVID-19 era is 0.01 by Goh Shou Yi, Rei Poh & Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Singapore). The pioneer student cohort of BA (Hons) in Performance Making present an intimate performance for 20 audience members that explores the collective loneliness and estrangement we are experiencing, especially through lockdowns in an urban environment.
OK Land by Circle Theatre (Thailand) is an entertaining, sardonic look at Thailand’s current socio-political climate in where a hungry aunty at her wits’ end resorts to taking herself hostage in a cheery convenience store.
Being: 息在 by 微 Wei Collective and Collaborators (Singapore) harnesses light, sound and textures in their performance to reconnect city-dwellers with nature and our breath through a magical, mythical journey.
PSYCHEdelight (United Kingdom) presents the premiere of its digital version of the critically acclaimed play Borderline at the Fringe! Inspired by the situation in the refugee camp in Calais, the ensemble of refugee and European performers devised a tragicomedy to rewrite the narrative about the refugee situation from their own points of view.
The Fringe will also present their first collaboration with ChannelNewsTheatre with a conversation on Telegram entitled Kampung Spirit, Mutual Aid, Whatever You Call It, which looks at the efficacy and sustainability of mutual aid in Singapore.
VIDEOS ON DEMAND
With global borders still restricted, the Fringe audience can still access high-quality works by their international artists via video on demand.
The Fringe has partnered with sg.BookMyShow.com as their Official Ticketing Agent. Please note that due to prevailing Safe Management Measures, theatre seating for live performances will be limited.
Esplanade—Theatres on the Bay
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
VENUE SAFETY MEASURES
The health and safety of their staff, artists, and audiences remain a top priority. They have put together some information on safety measures at venues that you can access on their website singaporefringe.com
They are also continuing collaboration with their Official Accessibility Partner Equal Dreams to increase the accessibility and inclusivity of the festival for all, including those with disabilities.
“With features such as Plain English versions of text is available on the Fringe website, visual stories for in-theatre experiences, and captions for in-theatre and videos on demand, we hope to make the Fringe a positive, accessible experience for as many people as possible,” they added.
“In these unprecedented times, art can still play a key role in inspiring and reviving hope and resilience, and in doing so, hopefully igniting positive change. We invite you to join us at Fringe 2022: The Helpers.”
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