21 June 2021 – Wild Rice today announced that The Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre will re-open with Faghag on 1 July.
Written by and starring Pam Oei, one of Singapore’s funniest, most beloved performers, Faghag has never been staged in Wild Rice’s venue – though not for lack of trying.
The production was originally scheduled for company’s Housewarming Season in July 2019, but was postponed due to construction delays to June 2021. However, the show was put on hold when COVID-19 regulations were tightened during the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert).
““We can’t think of a more uplifting show to welcome audiences back to the theatre,” says Ivan Heng, Wild Rice’s Founding Artistic Director, who also directs the production. “Its message of love and hope is one that we need now more than ever.”
Faghag will now run from 1 to 25 July. Tickets to the new performances go on sale from noon on 21 June (Monday).
Safely Welcoming Audiences Home
In line with the latest public health advisories, all audience members will have to be tested for COVID-19 before entering The Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre. Exemptions will be made only for individuals who have been fully vaccinated. (See here for more details.)
“To encourage Singapore audiences to safely return to the theatre and to ensure that no one is excluded from watching this wonderful production, Wild Rice has decided to cover the costs of testing for Faghag,” says Heng.
The costs of Pre-Event Testing (PET) – up to $30 per person – are substantial. Wild Rice will incur costs of approximately $40,000 to provide free testing for Faghag.
“In spite of the cost, it is critically important for us to press on with the show,” continues Heng. “Singapore’s theatre community is facing a crisis unlike anything we have experienced before. We need to do everything we can to keep our company moving forward, and to help our wider theatre industry survive.”
Wild Rice has established a new fund – The Wild PET Kitty – for audience members who would like to support the company by contributing towards their PET costs. (Find out more here.)
Faghag: Hilarious, Uplifting & Inspiring
On her part, Pam Oei is thrilled to finally perform Faghag at the Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre.
“Third time’s the charm and I’m raring to go!” she declares. “We couldn’t perform this show in June as originally intended, but I’m so glad we’re closing out Pride Month with the show!”
Written in the run-up to the tenth anniversary of Pink Dot in 2018, Faghag documents Oei’s journey as an LGBTQ+ ally and activist. Over the years, this has seen her join the ongoing fight to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises sex between consenting male adults in Singapore.
“So many of my dear friends in the LGBTQ+ community are very far from having the same rights as me,” says Oei. “Faghag will make you laugh and lift your spirits, but it also doesn’t shy away from exploring the discrimination that my friends continue to suffer in Singapore – the place we call home.”
“I hope that audiences will come to the show with open minds and leave with open hearts.”