Singapore Arts Festival 2006 Opening Gala Performance - Quest



Singapore Arts Festival 2006

~ One Season. Many Faces ~ Sneeze 1 – 25 June 06




Play On Earth

Station House Opera (UK) in collaboration with 
TheatreWorks (Singapore), Philarmonia Brasileira (Brazil) and NewcastleGateshead Initiative (UK)

World Premiere


Dates & Times :  15 June – 9am & 9pm
  :  16 June – 9pm
  :  17 June – 4pm
  :  18 June – 2am
  :  22 June – 9am & 9pm
   : 24 June – 2am
   : 25 June – 2am
 Venue  : 72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road
 Tickets  : $35 (excluding $2 SISTIC fee)
 Duration  : 90 minutes (no intermission)


Supported by British Council


The transcontinental world premiere of Station House Opera’s major new work Play on Earth will open across the globe on June 15. In this collaboration between Station House Opera (United Kingdom), TheatreWorks (Singapore) and Philarmonia Brasileira (Brazil), audiences across three continents and three time-zones will experience a ground-breaking work that literally transcends time and space.


One of the world’s leading experimental theatre companies, Station House Opera is known for its work in combining filmed and simulataneous performance. With Play on Earth, the concept is being brought to an ambitious new level. Audiences in the three cities will watch the three interconnected performances at the same time – viewing both actors on the stage before them and the actors across the world, streamed via the web and projected on screens.


The work traces four characters in search of connections between and with each other. Collectively, audiences in Newcastle, Singapore and São Paulo will be treated to a sequence of day-by-day interpersonal situations, which happen ‘live’ on the show but also between the three places shown on the screen. The revelation of their relationships is played out across the globe - by performers in three continents, together telling a story which is both universal and true to its own locality, culture and concerns. What the audience will feel in 90 minutes may be a reflection of their own issues and questions. Who are we truly? How is our individuality built? Is it possible that communication between human beings goes beyond cultural barriers?


The three directors in the respective cities will shape the interaction between three different actors from each city, with a precise sequence of storyboards and scripts developed during the rehearsal process. This gives a safe basis for the cameraman, actors and directors to work with precision in a system where all images to be transmitted during the show are pre-defined. Throughout the performance, a camera from each venue will transmit images such that audiences may see three projections (from Newcastle, Singapore and São Paulo respectively) simultaneously.


A fourth space will be built between the three ‘live’ events and the camera. A door in Newcastle could lead to another door in Brazil and a window in Brazil could look into a room in Singapore. There will be times when the three images (which are projected side by side with their edges touching) combine to create a single panoramic view of a space that does not exist in physical reality. At other times the images are composed and actors' movements choreographed so that our familiar understanding of cinema language helps create a space seen in reverse angles, or wide shot and close-up, or on opposite sides of a door, or of an objective view combined with a subjective point of view. Sometimes the similarity of the action on each of the screens suggests there has to be a connection, however uncanny, and however difficult it is to pinpoint. “If we consider this question physically, it is a virtual space, but it really only exists in our minds,” says Rubens Velloso, director in São Paulo. For Julian Maynard Smith, director in Newcastle, “the fourth space can be seen as a possible world we all inhabit generally, or spiritually, while our physical specifics are ours and ours alone.”


An exploration of the interaction between individuals, this trans-cultural production marks the coming together of at least three different cultures; the way people see and live life.  “In trying to find connections and links, we need to understand and exchange what we’re all about. This makes collaborating exciting even as we need to be open-minded and patient because we cannot expect others to be the same. Constant negotiation is needed for true collaboration to happen,” says Jeffery Tan, director in Singapore.


The Singapore segment features a cast of Gerald Chew, Keagan Kang and Noorlinah Mohamed.

 Play on Earth is a major international collaboration between Singapore Arts Festival, Station House Opera, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Northern Stage, Artsadmin, TheatreWorks, Philarmonia Brasileira and Bonito & Compri. Play on Earth is also performed as part of the World Summit on Arts & Culture in NewcastleGateshead with support from the auspices of the Arts Council England - National Arts Council Singapore Cultural Cooperation Programme.


Please refer to the attached annexes for more information:



  • Directors’ Profile
  • Performers’ Profile (Singapore)
  • Cast and Production List 
  • Company Profiles