August in Singapore will be jam-packed with all types of unique performances and festivals – take a look at the highlights from our theatres and festivals below…
A grand-scale, multi-media production created by Cirque de Soleil co-founder, Normand Latourelle, Cavalia will make its Asian debut in Marina Bay, under the show’s signature White Theatre Tent – the largest touring tent in the world. Featuring 50 horses and 43 artists – including riders, aerialists, acrobats and dancers from around the globe – the show transports audiences into virtual atmospheres, thanks to a 60-metre screen on which digital backgrounds are projected. Described as an “equestrian ballet”, Cavalia is a celebration of humankind’s longstanding relationship with the horse. See it from 12 to 31 August at White Theatre Tent on Bayfront Avenue. Tickets here.
Movie Music Madness
If you’re both a music lover and movie fan, you’ll especially enjoy this month’s Singapore Symphony Orchestra Pops Concert, A Night at the Movies. Conducted by Jason Lai, the one-night-only concert will feature popular tunes from films such as Gone with the Wind, Gladiator, Forrest Gump and Pirates of the Caribbean. Other highlights include the best of James Bond and music from Batman and Star Trek. 8 August at 7.30pm at Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic.
Back for a seventh year, the Singapore Night Festival will entertain crowds once again with a line-up of local and international performance acts, light art and various activities meant to inspire culture and fun. Free admission. 22 to 23 August and 29 to 30 August from 7pm to 2am in the precinct of Bras Basah and Bugis.
Notorious MTV star Steve-O will take the stage for a one-night-only stand-up performance, as part of his Guilty as Charged tour. Expect raunchy jokes, lots of laughs and, perhaps, a stunt or two from the prankster, who will share his most memorable experiences from Jackass and Wildboyz, and from his personal life. 10 August at 7pm at University Cultural Centre, NUS. Tickets from Sistic.
This month, Singapore Repertory Theatre brings the critically acclaimed drama, Mies Julie, to Singapore for a two-week run, following sell-out shows in New York, London and Hong Kong. An explosive new adaptation of August Strindberg’s classic Miss Julie, this version by South African writer-director Yael Farber is 90 minutes of constantly mounting tension, as the deadly attraction between a black farm labourer and his white master’s daughter spirals out of control. Set 18 years after the end of apartheid, in the steamy kitchen of a remote farmhouse, a single night of brutality and lust lays bare the struggles of post-apartheid South Africa, as the characters battle over power, sexuality, race and land. See it from 27 August to 13 September at DBS Arts Centre, 20 Merbau Road. Tickets here.
Hotpants, a musical comedy by Singaporean singer Dick Lee, is returning for a second time since its 1997 debut. The story follows 10 quirky characters in the 1970s – including three schoolmates who enter a talent show, and their eccentric mothers – as they make their way through a rapidly evolving world filled with modern morals, strange new pop music and, yes, even colourful hotpants. See it from 14 to 30 August at Drama Centre Theatre, 100 Victoria Street. Tickets from Sistic.
Esplanade Theatres on the Bay will, once again, host its annual Pesta Raya Malay Festival of Arts from 28 to 31 August, at the tail end of Singapore’s Hari Raya Puasa festivities. Featuring both ticketed and free performances, the festival celebrates Malay arts with a line-up of traditional and contemporary artists presenting works of dance, theatre and music. Here are some highlights.
Get Your Gamelan On
The Bali Purnati Center for the Arts presents Sakti, a concert by world-renowned gamelan composer Rahayu Supanggah, featuring an orchestra of musicians from across the Malay Archipelago and customary dances from South Sumatra. Gamelan is a traditional type of Indonesian music, played on percussive instruments such as hand drums, bamboo flutes and metallophones. 29 August at 8pm, Esplanade Concert Hall.
Featuring an all-female cast, Wanita tells the story of a socialite who becomes the centre of gossip when news of her husband’s infidelity spreads to the world of high society. Under the influence of her friends – a group connected by their shared love of gossip – she learns the ways to keep her pride, and her man. An adaptation of Clare Luce’s 1936 satirical play, The Women, this version is set in 1950s Malaya. It humorously addresses the dynamics of female friendship, adultery and social class, in between idle talk and beauty regimes. 28 to 30 August, Esplanade Theatre Studio.
Ning Baizura, one of Malaysia’s most celebrated pop and R&B artists, takes the stage for her first-ever solo concert in Singapore, entitled Rainbow for You. The charismatic singer is known for her energetic live performances, her soulful ballads and her ability to sing in multiple languages. 30 August at 8pm, Esplanade Concert Hall.
A Trilling Time
This month, youngsters can enjoy a new take on the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, The Emperor and the Nightingale. Set to a catchy pop score, The Nightingale tells the story of a songbird who spellbinds China’s emperor with her beautiful birdsong, leading to her capture and entrapment in a gilded cage. When she loses her voice, she’s ultimately replaced with a mechanical bird, and must struggle to regain both her voice and her freedom. Full of clever dialogue, rhymes and memorable music by British playwright Mike Kenny, this musical serves as a reminder to value the world around us. See it in English from 1 August to 14 September, and in Mandarin from 18 September to 11 October, at DBS Arts Centre, 20 Merbau Road. Tickets from Sistic.