From 4 September 2019

The Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre @ WILD RICE

Emily of Emerald Hill

Written by Stella Kon
Directed by Glen Goei

Who is Emily Gan? Is she a heroine or a villain? A woman ahead of her time, or a woman trapped by tradition? Ivan Heng, directed by long-time collaborator Glen Goei, brings to life one of Singapore theatre’s most iconic and complex characters. Together, they tell the fascinating story of an abandoned girl-child who overcomes all odds to emerge as a powerful matriarch in a distinguished household.

Evoking the golden age of Straits-Chinese culture from the 1930s, Stella Kon’s “Emily of Emerald Hill” continues to resonate in the present. Even as women today find fulfilment beyond the roles that circumscribed Emily Gan – as daughter-in-law, wife, mother, home-maker – the question of what a woman must do to succeed in a man’s world remains as pertinent as ever.

In 2000, Ivan Heng founded WILD RICE with a landmark production in which he first made Emily Gan his own. We can think of nothing more fitting to commemorate WILD RICE’s new home.

IMDA Rating: General


“A damn good piece of theatre.” –TODAY

“Stellar performance.” –SPH The Straits Times Life!

“It is hard to fault Ivan’s performance that showcases a woman at all the various stages in her life, where only an accomplished actor could have held up the over two-hour long monologue with such gusto and expression.” –

“Bravo, Ivan, bravo! You deserve that standing ovation from the audience, having delivered an impeccable performance in W!ld Rice’s 10th anniversary production of Emily on Emerald Hill. You knew exactly when the audience needed a joke or two, but never sacrificed any emotional moments for these spontaneous wisecracks.” –The Flying Inkpot

“Heng’s timing is superb; it took only a sly grin or the raise of an eyebrow at the right moment to get the audience giggling. When she came out to collect her bouquet and the audience stood in ovation, Emily had a tear in her eye and so did I, such was the power of this sharp, unpredictable character.” –Melbourne Festival eNews

“The standing ovation is rare in Melbourne, and reserved for the very best performances. It’s wonderful that this production from Singapore has moved Australian audiences in such a profound way, and it’s very deserving.” –Mary Ellen King, General Manager, Melbourne Festival

“A dizzying engagement with the androgyny of identity. It was impossible not to be moved.” –The Edge

“It was absolutely brilliant!!!!! It moved the audience to tears from both sadness and laughter. It left an indelible impression on me, and is undoubtedly one of the best performances I have ever seen. Outstanding!” –HK Magazine

“It’s a great great great piece of theatre – I came out feeling good and feeling changed. It’s been a long time since I was this affected by the theatre. The whole thing wasn’t at all sensationalised. Rather, Emily was very sensitively portrayed, and totally believable.” –Radio Three Hong Kong


Ivan Heng as Emily

Creative Team

Playwright Stella Kon
Director Glen Goei
Set Designer Wong Chee Wai
Lighting Designer Lim Woan Wen
Sound Designer/Engineer Paul Searles
Costumer Designers Lai Chan, Frederick Lee & Raymond Wong
Multi-media Designer Brian Gothong Tan
Hair Designer Ashley Lim
Make-up Designer The Make Up Room


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