Singapore Arts Festival 2006 - Mobile



Arts Festival 2006


~ One Season. Many Faces ~


1 – 25 June 06






The Necessary Stage




World Premiere



: 17 & 18 June 2006


: 8pm


: Drama Centre


: $50, $40, $30, $15


: 90 minutes (no intermission)


Performed in multi-languages with English surtitles


Post-show dialogue with Alvin Tan and Haresh Sharma on 17 & 18 June


A unique collaboration involving artists from Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Japan,Mobile is a production that seeks to uncover the stories behind men and women who are affected by movement and migration.


Directed by Alvin Tan and Tatsuo Kaneshita with Haresh Sharma as head writer, Mobilepromises to challenge norms and mindsets with its stories of labour migration, while commenting on the complexities of mobility between cultures, social strata and more.


With increasing labour movements around the globe, cross-cultural interactions take place at a higher frequency than ever before. This makes the world a smaller place but does it make it a friendlier place? Do we understand each other better?


In this thought-provoking production, a Japanese tourist loses her child in South East Asia; the ghost of a hanged Filipina maid demands justice; a Singaporean activist says enough is enough and a Thai monk tries to be calm.


Inspired by real life stories which helped put faces to each character, these heart-felt stories will be unveiled – What families did they leave behind? What obstacles did they have to overcome?


This intercultural, interdisciplinary project has been in development for over a year, and will allow audiences to see beyond the stereotypes, dig into the issues of labour migration and think twice about the lives behind the foreign workers in our midst.


The creative process began last year and involved four playwrights from each of the four countries, working together with Haresh Sharma (resident playwright, The Necessary Stage) on the script. As head writer, Sharma has the responsibility of weaving the texts together. He says: “We are looking at different kinds of characters that have different movements. Why are Singaporeans emigrating overseas and why are foreign workers coming to Singapore to work? Why do people want to leave everything behind and move somewhere else? With Mobile, we try to combine different stories and narratives together so that you will get to see all these different issues in their complexities.”


The extensive fieldwork was conducted across various countries. In Japan interviews were conducted with various NGOs, activists and academics involved with foreign workers. InThailand, the creative team visited women's shelters in Chiang Mai and conducted interviews in Bangkok, with NGOs involved in the protection of sex workers and their rights. In Singapore, the creative team interviewed migrant workers from various organizations, including Friends of Thai Workers Association, HOME, Darul Arqam and Transient Workers Count Too.


Mobile is an important work for The Necessary Stage, as it explores contemporary intercultural theatre with Asian artists – an artistic and cultural approach in which Singaporean artists can employ in their quest to place Singapore on the international cultural map,”   says Alvin Tan, Artistic Director, The Necessary Stage.


For The Necessary Stage, a theatre company that has been creating multicultural or intracultural works, Mobile furthers its methodology and rehearsal process of the past nineteen years.


A post-show dialogue with Alvin Tan and Haresh Sharma will be held on 17th and 18thJune.


Please refer to the attached annexes for more information:


  • Profile of Directors
  • Profile of Head Writer
  • Profile of Performers 
  • Cast List
  • Profile of The Necessary Stage