Tuesday, July 19, 2022


Ovidia--every other Tuesday

It's been kind of crazy around here (or then again, maybe just in my head)! 

The revival of 'Hitting (on) Women', a play I wrote 15 years ago went off pretty well. I enjoyed watching it much more this time around--and I loved the pop up 'pub theatre' feel of it. And yes, there's a pub just outside of this! 

It only seats 150, but they were sold out for the whole run, which always feels good!

What's sad that the play didn't feel dated: Singapore's still moving towards decriminalising homosexuality but hasn't got there yet. 

It reminded me so much of when I started out in theatre, doing lunchtime shows and a show a month didn't seem crazy... 

This is the view from just outside Projector X: Riverside, where the play was staged. What you're looking down at here is the Singapore River. 

The other play, Kwa Geok Choo, is the new one that's running now till the end of July. 

It's been quite polarising, to put it mildly. Some people really hate it while others say they were moved and touched. But I suspect this has less to do with my writing than the subject matter--it's the story of the woman who was the wife of our first Prime Minister and mother of our current Prime Minister. 

The hate mail started coming even before the show opened (luckily writers are thick-skinned!) but there have also been full houses and standing ovations so I think this was a project worth doing.

This is a shot of the cast doing sound and lighting checks before the first show. 

Cast and crew are an incredible team to work with. It must be really physically, mentally, emotionally draining to go up there night after night (plus matinees!).  

And it's in a much grander venue--the Victoria Theatre...

It's really much more pleasant outside the theatre. Part of me wanted to go on sitting/walking/watching out here with the old trees, young people and sea breeze coming in.

But then that's how I feel about most things in life--it's much more comfortable to be looking in from the outside. And most of the time I prefer staying not just out of the spotlight but out of the building. The only reason for going back inside is because you have people you care about inside there.

Not just the cast and crew and support team, but the characters whose stories they're telling. Every performance is different because every audience reacts differently and the actors respond to the different energy. That's the magic of live theatre that we've missed through the Covid years!

As for the 'official' view vs all the dirt I've been accused of hiding (but which I wasn't actually able to unearth)... I've been thinking about how Shakespeare was staged in the 18th century. 

Not censorship but contemporary sentiment removed all the obscene talk Hamlet directs at Gertrude, there were no comic scenes in the tragedies (no Fool in King Lear, no drunken porter in Macbeth, no gravedigger in Hamlet).

And 'worse'--King Lear was given a happy ending where Cordelia marries Edgar and inherit Lear’s kingdom. (the tragic ending we know and love-hate now was restored in the 19th century). 

The happy ending was described as one that ‘can never fail to produce those gushing tears which are sealed and ennobled by a virtuous joy,’ 

The problem is, even such worthies as David Garrick and Samuel Johnson went with the happy ending to Lear though they had access to the original scripts (which caused a minor fallout when Garrick refused to lend them to Johnson because Johnson notoriously ruined borrowed books)


(Samuel Johnson manhandling a book--not relevant except I love how he's grabbing and devouring it)

It makes me realise I can't be aware of whether I'm being influenced by 'contemporary sentiment' when I write what I see as 'truth'.

The frightening responsibility of being writers is we're both reflecting and reshaping contemporary sentiment. Yes--how and why we murder our victims and what happens to our killers reflects how we see our reality and may reformulate tomorrow's reality. 

So-- may we all kill wisely and well!


  1. Ovidia, I so wish I could attend your plays...or even watch one on video! You make me so proud to be among the kill-wisely-and-well clan of MIE

    1. Thank you--and thank you as always
      for the lovely time-outs I get in Greece!

  2. Congrats on both plays. Like Jeff, I'd love to see one. I didn't know about the early Shakespeare performances. Very interesting. Public "censorship" is nothing new.

  3. I think you are marvelously brave and congratulations on both plays!