SAF 2005 - Toy Factory


Singapore Arts Festival 2005


~ The Season of Brilliance ~


26 May – 26 June







 Date : 3 – 5 JUNE 2005
 Time : 8:00PM
 Venue : Victoria Theatre
 Tickets : $52, $42, $32, $21
 Duration : 85 mins (no intermission)


Performed in five forms of Chinese Opera with English and Chinese subtitles

Post-show Dialogue with Goh Boon Teck on 4 June


A tragic story of five Chinese female spirits with similar destinies, performed by five Asia’s leading male Chinese opera actors.


Despised and condemned by history, branded as ‘yao jing’ (evil spirits), this gripping drama revisits the tragic stories of five infamous beauties whose tragic lives intertwined with the destinies of empires spanning 5,000 years of Chinese history.


Journey with them and find out if these beauties turn into venomous serpents and caused the downfall of empires, or if their story is merely a tragedy brought about by lust, desire and foolishness?


In Spirits, we journey back into Chinese history and present the five most prominent ‘yao jings’. Dissect their life and actions as well as their inner emotions, through the most abhorred rejection from society. Five nan hua dan performed by Asia’s leading male Chinese opera actors, representing five kinds of Chinese opera - Yue, Jing, Li Yuan, Huang Mei and Yu in one staging featuring Bao Shi (Zhou Dynasty), Lu Hou (Han Dynasty), Yu Xuan Ji (Tang Dynasty), Ke Shi (Ming Dynasty) and Sai Jing Hua (Qing Dynasty).


From another perspective, through five segments of playlets, Spirits re-visit these popular fables from ancient Chinese history, as well as the dark side of human nature and the irresponsibility of written history and untold truths.


Written by Singaporean-Beijing based playwright Koh Teng Liang, Spirits is a new music theatre work directed by Singapore’s award-winning director Goh Boon Teck. The play fuses contemporary theatrical styles with the traditions of five Chinese Opera forms. The tales though ancient, resonate with new sound, light and movement.


The cast of five male opera masters, Lin Shaolin, Qin Zhan Bao, Ou Yang Bing Wen, Ma Zijun and Lin Jia, unfold this cautionary tale of how avarice perverts human behaviour and destroys all this dignified and worthy.


With compelling music by Malaysian composer Saidah Rastam, together with lighting designer Tommy Wong, costume designer Tan Hong Chye and hair designer Ashley Lim, Spirits promises to enrapture your senses.


“We are indeed privileged and proud to be commissioned by Singapore Arts Festival 2005 committee to produce this show. Through SPIRITS, we want to showcase the five forms of Chinese opera: Jing, Yue, Li Yuan, Huang Mei & Yu to the audiences so as to make opera more accessible to all.” - Goh Boon Teck, Chief Artistic Director, Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble.


Please refer to the attached annexes for more information:

 Annexes - Synopsis
  - The Stories Of The Five “Yao Jing”
  - Profile of Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble
  - Profiles of Cast and Creative Team
  - Spirits Production Credits