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I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


It's a performance of literature weaving together poetry and sound architecture. This journey from a poem to a play promises to take you globe-trotting, without leaving the comfort of your seat.

Beyond all of that, it's about differing perspectives, a different take on the things we see. One sees beauty in the corner of the street, the other sees things as we see them everyday.

Think about it. How many times have you disagreed about the food, the clothes, the places you see.

"Good food."
"Hmmm, alrite."

"Great shirt."
"A brighter shade perhaps?"

"Perfect holiday."
"Could have been better."

I could go on, but I haven't exactly put pen to paper. Madeleine Lee and and Eleanor Wong have and put together 'Y Grec'. It's a collection of poems that came together as an "accidental book," in Madeleine's words:
"A few of us travelled to Greece in 2004. Some of us were writers and, apparently, were scribbling away, unbeknownst to each other, Eleanor came home with a dozen poems, and I with 26. Funny thing is we never saw each other’s writings during the writing, only after. And it was Enoch, our publisher from Firstfruits who told us that together we ‘had a book’. I call it the ‘accidental book’. Turns out we have 2 different views on where we went and what we saw. The 2 voices become quite apparent one-third way into the book."

I first heard about it when I bumped into Madeleine at one of the initial Singapore Writers Festival meetings, one marked by a couple of civilisational shifts, a couple of authors announcing their next big thing, others sounding out the perfect ideas for the festival.

Madeleine wasn't into big pronouncements, she'd rather let her work do the talking. We got talking and soon I was getting much needed lessons in "performed literature" and Second Link:
"I had been on the Singapore Writers Festival 2005 Committee and had then introduced the notion of ‘performed literature’ to them by conceiving the idea of “Second Link”, which was a 2 hour long presentation of Singapore and Malaysian literature curated and directed in a theatrical setting. This time, I pitched the idea of turning a whole book of poems into a hour theatre presentation. They liked the idea, I approached Cake Theatre and here we are."

And it's the perfect place to be. The slick promos showcase what you can expect to see in the 75 minute production.
"It will literally be 2 voices, spoken by 2 different actresses Karen Tan and Noorlinah Mohamed. Together with overlays of music, sound and multimedia, the entire piece will unfold in a most mind-blowing way."

Knowing Madeleine, this is spoken like the absolute truth. Would have loved to catch the opening on the 6th, but I'll only be able to make it on the 9th. You could head to to book your choice seats.

'Y Grec' - A Theatrical Performance takes place at the Arts House in conjunction with the Singapore Writers Festival from 6th-9th December.

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