For decades, Singapore’s oldest flea market in Sungei Road was home to a community that made a living out of peddling their wares under the sweltering mid-day sun. In the one square metre of space allocated to each vendor, what was junk to some was treasure to others.
In July 2017, the Sungei Road Market was shut down by the authorities. In one fell swoop, 80 years of heritage and haggling were erased.
In the weeks before and after the market’s closure, playwright 三木 SANMU interviewed dozens of Sungei Road vendors, as they confronted and eventually came to terms with the loss of their neighbourhood and livelihoods. Among the colourful characters he encounters are ‘The Businessman’, ‘The Poet’, ‘The Top Student’ and ‘Liang Po Po’.
In this provocative verbatim play about poverty, pragmatism and the price of progress, One Metre Square asks us to consider what we’ve lost one year after the Sungei Road Market has ceased to exist.
Performed in Mandarin, Hokkien and Cantonese, with English surtitles.
Advisory (Some Mature Content)