The literary arts festival Textures 2024 is back for another year of celebrating Singapore literature (SingLit) at The Arts House, from 19 to 28 January. During this Singapore arts event, visitors are invited to a reimagine world where words and art combine and come alive in the form of art installations, performances and more.
Thank You For Holding
Among the performances at Textures 2024 is this interactive theatre performance that invites the audience to choose how the plot will unravel. Thank You For Holding centres around the experience of connecting to a phone operator at a call centre. As the audience makes decisions, the show turns into a mix of stories, questions and confessions. This performance reimagines the boundaries of literary art by marrying poetry, movement and live music. We asked Marc Nair, Director and Writer of Thank You For Holding, what audiences can expect from his show.
What inspired you to create Thank You For Holding?
The show is born from a number of frustrating and sometimes bamboozling interactions with call centres, where I am faced with a range of options that never quite lead to a resolution, or even an actual person. I wanted to recreate this experience in a theatrical setting, incorporating music and movement as a way of transforming this idea into reality.
The show is also a commentary on the inequalities and precarity of labour of call centre workers. However, instead of angling towards despair, it offers a speculative take on other ways of being and living.
What challenges did you face writing and directing this show?
The lack of linearity means that any phone number can be selected. So the performers have to be quick to respond to each choice. In terms of narrative structure, I had to think about a non-linear flow, to build the world of the call centre.
How does the interactive plot line work?
Without giving everything away, let’s say that the show is built upon the idea of dialling into a call centre and selecting options based on one’s needs. While choices are given to the audience, they don’t know what exactly it all entails. Meanwhile the Operator remains a central, but elusive figure.
It’s a little bit like a ‘choose your own adventure’ gamebook. So the audience should feel empowered to discover how the story goes. And there’s definitely more content than can be performed for the duration of the show, so the audience has to live with the consequence of their choices. But, rest assured, all choices are good choices!
Where to see the show
Thank You For Holding is performing at The Arts House, Play Den. The shows start at 8pm on Friday 19 January and 3pm and 8pm on Saturday 20 January.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here. Expat Living readers can receive a 10% discount using the promo code ELREADER10 (valid until 20 January.)
5 more Textures programmes
8-bit Word Cloud – Art installation
When: 19 January to 8 February
This interactive art installation by Justin Loke invites you on a journey combining words and imagination. See if you can find the missing letters scattered around six art benches located throughout the Civic District to complete the poem! This Textures 2024 installation is bound to be fun, especially for families with little adventurers ready to go on a scavenger hunt!
Winter Sonata, Summer Mookata – The Arts House façade projection
When: 19 January to 8 February
Drawing inspiration from pop culture, comics, films, anime, science fiction and philosophy, this art installation facade projection by Knuckles & Notch combines digital and analogue animation techniques. The result is a strange and captivating world exploring human existence and spiritual consciousness.
Pop-up Bookstore by Chio Books
When: Every Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 19 to 28 January
Chio Books is a lifestyle brand aiming to make reading fashionable with its neon-themed bookstore boasting over 100 fab book titles to explore!
Popping up alongside the books is Tarot Card Readings by Nehesa Ascension and spiritual healer and psychic Grace J Teo who possesses clairaudient, claircognizant, and clairsentient abilities and can read into your future. Sessions are available on 19, 20, 26 and 27 January (Fridays, 8pm to 10pm; Saturdays, 6pm to 10pm).
For a free 15-minute reading, simply follow @chio_books and @theartshouse on Instagram and register onsite at The Arts House. Limited to 10 readings per session only on a first-come-first-serve basis. Once the free sessions are fully redeemed, subsequent sessions will be subject to a charge of $25.
Read at home with this eBook wall
When: 19 to 28 January
In collaboration with the National Library Board, find a range of specially selected SingLit ebooks for all ages with QR codes ready to be scanned by you. How’s that for a library of the future? Now you can download a library book and start reading on your commute home!
Literary Pioneer Exhibition: Goh Poh Seng
When: 28 December to 28 January
This exhibition hopes to capture key moments that demonstrate Goh Poh Seng’s dedication and rebel spirit. The poet, dramatist, novelist and visionary was ahead of his time, and is credited for introducing Singlish to the stage. He was also a winner of what is known as the Singapore Literature Prize today. You may know him for this famous line that swayed David Bowie to come to a performance at his house: “Tell Bowie he’s only a rock star. I, however, am a poet.”
Find out when and where you can see these Singapore arts events at Textures 2024 here. Plus, there are more details about performances, the art installation and exhibitions.