From 2 Apr 2020


Grandmother Tongue

Written & Directed by Thomas Lim

“Powerful…Brilliant…Superb!” – The Straits Times

“A play which does more showing than telling – but speaks volumes nonetheless. – The Business Times

“Boldly done in multiple languages, including dialects, Grandmother Tongue will have a soft spot in our hearts for a long time to come. – Popspoken

In a Singapore where dialects have been losing relevance for generations, Grandmother Tongue traces a young man’s struggle to connect with his 84-year-old Teochew-speaking grandmother. He teaches her to use a mobile phone. He helps her buy her favourite brand of soya sauce. He visits her in hospital after a fall. Along the way, he begins to understand just what it means to spend decades in linguistic and cultural exile. 

Back by popular demand after two sell-out runs, Thomas Lim’s funny, insightful play examines the social costs of our mother-tongue language policy and the erasure of dialects in today’s Singapore. In ways both humorous and heartbreaking, Grandmother Tongue explores how our identities are bound up with the languages that we use and the ones that we lose.


Jalyn Han
Rei Poh
Tan Shou Chen

Creative Team

Playwright Thomas Lim
Director Thomas Lim
Set Designer CK Chia
Lighting Designer Petrina Dawn Tan
Sound Designer Jing Ng
Hair Designer Ashley Lim
Make-Up Designer The Make Up Room

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