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Happy Ever Laughter: We chat to Selena Tan about Singapore’s new stand-up comedy show

 

Selena Tan is the brains behind Happy Ever Laughter, a comedy smorgasbord featuring 12 local comedians and runs from 27 June to 8 July.

Which comedians have come on board?

The veteran of Singapore’s comedy world, Kumar, is the headline act. Three TV personalities – Michelle Chong, Gurmit Singh and Moses Lim – will make the switch from the small screen to the stage. Malay comedians Najip Ali, Siti Khalijah Zainal and Hirzi Zulkiflie will round out the programme.

The diversity of acts is representative of Singapore’s diverse population, but I make no apologies for it being unabashedly local. And in true blue Singaporean style, it is value for money, of course!

 

Will the comedians perform in English?

I expect 95 percent of the show to be in English. In character as The Broadway Beng, Sebastian Tan will slip in some Hokkien and Mandarin; there might be a little Malay from some of the others.

Despite this, I think expats will enjoy the show. They might not understand everything, but it will give them a good taste of local humour and the issues locals are dealing with. The loose theme of the show is happiness, so the comedians will reflect on finding happiness within the Singapore of today: despite miseries like traffic jams and cancelled trains.

There is a good sprinkling of women in the line-up. What issues will they touch on?

Siti Kalijah Zainal will play a member of the controversial Obedient Wives Club and satirically bring out the challenges of being a Malay woman in Singapore in the 21st century. She’ll send up what it’s like to be “traditional” in a modern society. Michelle Chong, Judee Tan and I all deal with different female issues.

You’ve produced lots of other comedy shows; what was your inspiration for this new one?

I started out in stand-up comedy in 1999 and have gone on to forge a career in comedy and musical production. Edinburgh and Melbourne, for example, run successful comedy festivals, and I thought the time was right for a showcase of local talent here. It was the title that came to me first, Happy Ever Laughter, but I know success will hinge on the quality of the comedians. Still, based on our solid past shows, tickets are already flying off the Sistic shelves!

Happy Ever Laughter runs from 27 June to 8 July. Catch it from Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday at 4pm, or the special Friday supper shows at 11pm.

Tickets from Sistic.

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