As part of the SG50 engagement and celebrations, MSF wanted an opening item for their event. The client felt that an opening video wouldn’t make an impact for such a big event, especially when there was long list of videos to be screened during the event.
So we came up with the idea of an interactive performance. A 10-minute performance to tell Singapore’s 50-year history.
Through the lives of a mother and daughter, we told the defining moments in Singapore’s short and eventful history – racial riots, financial crisis, SARS, among many.
The first challenge was the script. I’ve watched a fair bit of theatre but definitely not enough to write a proper script. We found a partner, Play Inc, and together with their creative director, we started putting the script together.
While I wrote the overall story, and the video portion, his input in theatre dialogue, and performance direction was invaluable.
We must have gone through close to 20 rounds of revisions before the script was approved. Then we started producing the video parts of the performance. The actors had to interact with the backdrop – a 12m x 6.9m LED wall.
Over six months, we had to re-shoot the scenes everytime the script changed. Our assistant producers had to create stage props. We also insisted that the costumes were historically accurate, like the shorts that the riot police wore. We made the performers go through numerous rehearsals to get their timing right.
All I can remember is the adrenaline high from directing a live performance.