A Modern Political Fairy Tale

TheatreWorks (S) Ltd is happy to announce its next production Comrade Mayor which would be shown from 4 Sept to 22 Sept 2002 at TheatreWorks’ Black Box, Fort Canning Park. Comrade Mayor is a tongue-in-cheek, humorous political satire written by veteran playwright Russell Heng and directed by up-and-coming director Tan Boon Hui. It features an all-Singaporean, all-male cast that consists of actors Brendon Fernandez, David Leong, Gani Abdul Karim, Garrett Hoo, Harriss Zaidi, Micheas Chan, Mitchell Leow and Rodney Oliveiro.

Once upon a time, in an Asian city where people call each other comrades, there lives a powerful maverick Mayor who is hungry for foreign investments. To make that city comes an ambitious Singapore ambassador, determined to make her government’s stalled industrial park a success. Then the Mayor sues the Ambassador’s brother, a hapless Singapore correspondent, who writes what the whole city only says in whispers:” The Mayor manipulates the city’s courts”. Add to that a horny Australian journalist who loves Asian hunks, a dissident seeking refuge in the Singapore embassy and the Mayor’s fortune teller, and the supposedly bound-to-win court case for the Mayor becomes an Asian, modern day fairy tale. But will anyone live happily-ever-after?

This play contains scenes which may deem objectionable to some members of the audience.


Russell Heng – Playwright

Thwarted plays! That will be Dr Russell Heng’s footnote in theatre history if he deserves one. The 1988 Singapore Arts Festival Fringe rejected his National Book Award-winning first work ‘Lest the Demons’ for putting a transsexual on stage for one and a half hour. In those days, “ah quas” were strictly no-no on the Singapore stage. Lest the Demons’ finally got produced in 1992. His second play ‘Half Century’ also ran into censorship problems, and had to wait even longer (seven years to be exact) to be staged in 2001. Bureaucrats were nervous with Half Century’s take on political detention. In between these ups and downs, he makes a living in a series of jobs: civil servant, journalist and currently academic researcher at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. If you get to read this in a theatre programme in 2002 while waiting for the curtain to rise on Heng’s latest play ‘Comrade Mayor’, then it is as the say: Third time lucky!


Tan Boon Hui – Director

Boon Hui made his entry onto the Singapore stage with a mouth full of braces, playing what else, but a man with a mouth full of metal in a play called, what else again, ‘Beauty and Braces’. His appearance in the NUS Drama Competition earned him a Best Performer Award. He went on to appear in a series of public performances with Action Theatre, playing civil servants with a passion for tango in ‘Exit’ and an interrogator cum tailor who dreams of being a cattle farmer in ‘The Joust’. He debuted the role of the opera fan in the award winning ‘Wayang Sayang’ 10-minute play. Being eternally grateful, he went on to direct for Action Theatre in the same play as well as other plays like ‘Joe’s Encyclopedia’. In 2001, he devised a pantomime tribute to Marilyn Monroe called ‘500 Marilyns’ and also directed the 6 play sequence ‘Hopper’s Women’. The latter earned his a Best Director nomination in the inaugural Life! Theatre Awards. For TheatreWorks, he has directed Tan Tarn How’s ‘Undercover’ for ‘Charging Up Memory Lane’. Paying his dues, he has been resident director with the Centre for the Arts, training amateur student directors and directing productions like ‘The Bald Soprano’, ‘Graceland’ and ‘The Public Eye’. Boon Hui is an arts administrator and also curates Southeast Asian jewellery and ethnic art.


[back to top]