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Presented at the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival
Produced by Take Off Productions

22 - 24 January 2015

Gallery Theatre, Basement

National Museum of Singapore

Playwright Joel Tan

Performers Julie Wee, Erwin Shah Ismail, John Cheah, Yap Yi Kai

Lighting Designer Petrina Dawn Tan

Sound Designer, Production and Stage Manager Ryann Othniel Seng

Set Designer Aaron Yap

Assistant Production Manager Muhammad Sufiyan

Assistant Stage Manager Anne Lee, Leah Sim

A group of 20-somethings turns up at an 80s mosaic playground the evening before it is due for demolition. Over the span of the night, what starts out as an earnest protest event turns into an unravelling of relationships and betrayals, enacting on a quieter level questions of the respective costs of progress and nostalgia. By turns funny, poignant and melancholy, Mosaic is a love-song to generation Y's hang-ups and dramas, exploring the struggles people go through to hold on to things that have long slipped into the past.

Mosaic (M1 Fringe Festival): Text
Production image. Hanis lights a cigarette for Sharon. The action is mimed.
Mosaic (M1 Fringe Festival): Image

There’s something bittersweet and sentimental-sober about Mosaic that guided my hand in directing it. I decided for the play to be performed without props but with naturalistic gestures. The proplessness made the naturalistic gestures look naked and silly (as one should feel at a lip-service protest like the one in the play). Sharon, Hanis, Wong, and Rong Cheng are all incredibly flawed characters, and the imperfection of the gestures makes sense in their context. But there’s also a sort of romance to this, something quite communal about it. The four of them gesture their world into existence, and we (the audience) collectively imagine cigarettes being rolled, a man being tied up in a playground. The set design by Aaron Yap also negotiates this tension between being clear-eyed and sentimental. The set suggests the iconic dragon playground through creating pieces that form the space around the dragon head, serving as a constant visual reminder of the emptiness of nostalgia, of buildings lost in rapid urban development, of a general sense of futility. But it's also a game that we play together as the audience, spotting the dragon, a secret code that we share. In a play where human connection feels dumb and toxic, but also essential and electric, these clashing impulses fit.

Mosaic (M1 Fringe Festival): Text
Production image. The set evokes the image of the famous dragon playground in the heartlands. Sharon holds her hands in front of her body, as if trying to pacify Rong Cheng, who is a distance away from her but looks at her with an aggressive expression.
Mosaic (M1 Fringe Festival): Image

Within this visual landscape (gestural and otherwise), the actors and I shaded in the tensions, intentions, and inflections in the dialogue from moment to moment, assigning meaning(s) to each "orh", "mm", and  "can't you don't", and saying a lot with a little, the way that we do here.'[M]y ultimate shout out has to be to its young director Chen. You do feel Mosaic as a whole and I’m very sure it’s to her credit, teasing out the little nuances in the script, getting the best out of her actors.’- Today, “S’pore Fringe Fest 2015: Mosaic’s Pieces Fit Just Right”

Mosaic (M1 Fringe Festival): Text
Mosaic (M1 Fringe Festival): Selected Work

Photos by Crispian Chan

Mosaic (M1 Fringe Festival): Text
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