I’d Like To Know: Chua Enlai

Peek into Chua Enlai’s dressing room before he takes the stage, and find out which theatrical experiences have inspired the star of Monkey Goes West and The Noose!

Do you have a ritual as a performer?

I have OCD: my dressing table has to be very neat. Everything has to be laid out in front of me, like a fancy dinner setting! I do stretches. I preen. And I like bright lights in the dressing room. My script is always sitting on the table – I touch it once in a while, hoping the lines will remain in my brain through osmosis.

What keeps you up at night?

Nothing. I sleep a lot. I love sleeping. And I can sleep a lot.

You’re throwing a dinner party for five guests – dead or alive, real or fictional. Whom would you invite?

Erykah Badu, Oscar Wilde, Le Corbusier, Pablo Picasso, Cole Porter. In fact, I want a Midnight in Paris experience. Can I get one on Viator? ?

What’s one of your pet peeves?

Other drivers on the road! Why do people drive so slowly? Why do so many cars seem not to be fitted with signal indicators? Why do people hog the road? I can’t wait for Mercedes to introduce teleportation!

It don’t matter if you’re black or white –
Enlai matches the brand-new Park 22 Hotel in Little India!

If you were entertaining a visitor from overseas, what’s the one place in Singapore you’d take them to?

Little India! There are temples, shophouses not devoted to selling tacky souvenirs, and lots of fish-head curry!

What’s one of your favourite films?

I love Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. What energy! I really enjoyed this interpretation.

Tell us about the theatrical experience that changed your life.

I think it’s more complex than that. There have been many memorable experiences that have connected with me in different ways. It could be catching The Wooster Group, my first Shakespeare in the Park, or watching Sylvia Guillem move. I even remember doing my first stunt! As Bill Sykes in a school production of Oliver, I fell backwards onto a mattress after being shot. That was exciting!

If you could import something that you can’t get in Singapore, what would it be?

Clear ocean waters, snow and a star-filled sky!

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