Warming Up with Brendon Fernandez!

The scourge of capitalism. Craft beers in hawker centres. Kiasuism. All this and more in our chat with Brendon Fernandez, who’s currently charming audiences as inveterate playboy Algernon Moncrieff in The Importance of Being Earnest!
All smiles and smooth charm as Algernon Moncrieff in The Importance of Being Earnest!

What’s the one thing you have to do before you go on stage?

Some kind of physical warm-up. For The Importance of Being Earnest, I’m doing stretches, because we do a lot of haughty posing in this play! I think it’s meant to reflect the repressed Victorian society the characters come from. So I get quite sore if I don’t stretch!

It’s not usually part of my ritual, but for this play, I also do vocal warm-ups. Oscar Wilde’s lines are brilliantly constructed, but are often also quite long and convoluted. So I go on stage before each show, and speak the more difficult sections out loud. Just so the actual performance isn’t the first time I’ve said them in the theatre each day!

What keeps you up at night?

The Facebook post I have just read on my tablet, even though I promised myself I would put it down and go to sleep.

Also, how capitalism will kill us all.

So drama! Brendon goes all out during rehearsals for Earnest!

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

Patrick Stewart, Dr. Lindsey Doe, Ewan McGregor, Daisy Ridley and Optimus Prime!

What is one of your pet peeves?

A lack of empathy, consideration, or respect for people as fellow human beings.

Especially if it’s due to kiasuism.

Especially if I catch myself doing it ?

You might find the answer to what’s ale-ing you here…
 © Smith Street Taps

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

Smith Street Taps. Craft beer in a hawker centre – the very pinnacle of the Singaporean dining experience, imho!

Tell us about the theatrical experience that changed your life.

Theatre is such an involved art form, that I feel it’s rare to be part of something that doesn’t change me in some way.

But I’ll share one that has some resonance at the moment: watching Ivan Heng and Daniel York Loh in Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1998, and thinking: “Asian actors, as leads, working in Singapore, in English. It’s possible.”

Funny how life works – Brendon sharing the stage with two actors who made him realise a career in the arts was possible!
(L-R) Lim Kay Siu, Hossan Leong, Brendon, Gavin Yap, Daniel York Loh, Crispian Chan, Chua Enlai & Ivan Heng

What is one thing you’ve done in the past five years that you’ve never done before?

Too many!

But I guess the highlight would be: got married, bought a flat (or leased it for 99 years, depending on who you ask).


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

An Australian beach! ?

Catch Brendon in The Importance of Being Earnest before it closes on 7 March. He’ll also be starring in WILD RICE’s award-winning production of HOTEL from 11 June!

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