Touched By An Angel – Pat Young

A passionate lover of the arts, Pat Young has long believed in the power of theatre both to educate and entertain. She has been a W!LD RICE Angel since July 2002.

How important are theatre and the arts to you personally?

Theatre came into my life a long time ago – the very first show I watched being Carousel. But I cannot remember much about it, whether it was a local or foreign production.

When my daughter was very young, I brought her to kids’ plays like Robinson Crusoe and Charlotte’s Web by Act3. We enjoyed theatre so much that it became a regular affair, and we have since attended countless local performances by Act3, Stage Club, Action Theatre, TheatreWorks, The Necessary Stage, SRT, W!LD RICE, Dream Academy and some of the foreign productions that have been staged in Singapore (Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera).

Theatre, for me, is a great way to relax and to watch the growth and nurturing of young talent, as we have seen in young and W!LD. It is also a great way to bond with your children, to see the world in a different light, and to bring people together. And of course, when you’re a W!LD RICE Angel, getting to know the actors and directors is a plus!

Tell us a little bit about how W!LD RICE came onto your radar. Do you remember the first W!LD RICE show you ever watched?

Come to think about it, I think I have seen every single W!LD RICE production that has been staged in Singapore since they first started in 2000!

Your support has helped us put up some truly incredible shows. Do you happen to have any sentimental favourites among them?

Some of the productions that we have enjoyed tremendously are Emily of Emerald Hill directed by the late Krishen Jit at Jubilee Hall in 2000 – three of us were asked to get up onstage to make kueh! In fact, we’ve watched all three versions of Emily with Ivan Heng (Krishen and Glen Goei’s versions), Pearlie Chua and Margaret Chan. The Coffin Is Too Big For The Hole was kind of “eeky” as a real coffin was placed on the stage!

Beauty World at the Esplanade (2008) was a huge step forward for local musicals. We watched the previous version when it starred Tan Kheng Hua as Lulu at World Trade Centre Auditorium – this shows how timeless theatre can be! We also saw The Magic Fundoshi when it was first staged by the SRT with a very young Daniel York. The Magic Fundoshi by W!LD RICE was hilarious! Jonathan Lim’s wig fell off during the last act – as a good actor, he said “Oh my, I’m so scared my hair fell off!” and that just made everything even funnier for the audience who were already rolling around in laughter.

We understand you particularly enjoy the traditional year-end W!LD RICE pantomime…

The pantomimes are very entertaining, with a twist to the original tales; and music composed by our very own local talents. Adults enjoy the pantos too, and I also have a group of younger panto fans – some parents allow me to take their children to the pantos.

My favourite pantomime would have to be Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs (2008). The songs are catchy and I still play the CD in my car every once in the while, remembering how Sebastian Tan as the Wicked Witch was so deliciously evil… “An apple a day keeps the doctor away…” This panto featured the debut of the very talented Elena Wang, who was discovered by Ivan at a LASALLE graduation show. When she left to pursue her career overseas, it was a loss for the local theatre scene.

I will always cherish the memory of watching Beauty and the Beast (2009), which cast two of our brightest stars – the late Emma Yong and RJ Rosales. It was such a tragic loss and I will always remember them with much love.

What prompted you to come on board with W!LD RICE as an Angel?

I became a Wild Rice Angel as it’s a good way to support local talent. I convinced many friends that the standard of our local theatre is very high – we have so many undiscovered talents in dramas, musicals, operas, and now my circle of theatre kawans has widened.

What has being one of W!LD RICE’s invaluable Angels meant to you?

Being an Angel has its advantages – I am privileged to do back-stage tours, and sometimes get to meet the cast.

What are your views on the current theatre scene in Singapore?

The current theatre scene is a lot more vibrant compared to 20 years ago. New and smaller groups like Pangdemonium!, Theatre Practice and CAKE have formed. We also have various arts and music festivals throughout the year, which keeps me really busy! I am very glad that schools are also more into the arts and are organising to bring the students to watch plays in the theatre too.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin