7 - 16 Feb 2001
Drama Centre, Singapore
What if, at your grandfather’s funeral, his coffin was found to be too big for the hole? Ever argued with a parking attendant till you were blue in the face? THE COFFIN IS TOO BIG FOR THE HOLE & NO PARKING ON ODD DAYS are two timeless comedies written by acclaimed playwright Kuo Pao Kun. At once hilarious and poignant, they tell the story of one woman’s fight against faceless bureaucracy and highlight the absurdity of red-tape. Originally written for a man, this brand new production is now performed by a woman and was a highlight of the Singapore Festival of Arts 2000.
THE COFFIN IS TOO BIG FOR THE HOLE opens as a Chinese family is making burial preparations. The monologue is the recurring nightmare of a young man, who as eldest grandchild and surviving male descendant is obliged to oversee an appropriate burial. But the reverent occasion is thrown off balance, as the elaborate coffin is too big for the hole. And to add insult to injury, regulations forbid the digging of a larger than standard-size plot. The Coffin is too Big for the Hole finds comedy in the mixed experience of modernisation, as tradition collides with new urban reality and a young man is left to resolve problems of the living and the dead.
NO PARKING ON ODD DAYS pitches a mother and her son in a battle against bureaucracy. When first performed in 1986, No Parking on Odd Days was a comic lightning rod for Singaporean gripes with inflexible government micromanagement of everyday life. Sixteen years later Kuo's elegant, economic and devastatingly funny diatribe resonates powerfully in our increasingly homogenised world, where the power of individuals to shape their lives is constantly challenged. No Parking on Odd Days adds a distinctively Singaporean sting to the universal tale of frustrated motorists and demonised meter inspectors.
CREATIVE & PRODUCTION TEAM
Playwright Kuo Pao Kun
Director Krishen Jit
Set Designers Ivan Heng & Chowee Leow
Lighting Designer Mac Chan
Sound Designers Ivan Heng & Lim Kay Siu
Costume Designers Ivan Heng & Chowee Leow
Hair & Wigs Ashley Lim & Jacqueline Yu
Production Manager Felina Khong
Stage Manager Teo Kuang Han
Producer Ivan Heng
Neo Swee Lin
"This one-woman dynamo, bursting at the seams with comic energy and a strapping stage presence kept the audience enthralled, a feat few actors anywhere in the world are capable of."Happening.com
"The English version of Kuo Pao Kun’s double-bill benefited greatly from a powerful subtext and smart staging… Neo Swee Lin, it must be said, seemed in easy command of the stage and her audience."SPH The Business Times
"The paranoia and dream elements in the script were well-realised through the atmospheric use of roaring Buddhist chants and, in lighter moments, jaunty funeral-band music."The Straits Times LIFE!