The Necessary Stage (TNS) celebrates its 30th anniversary with the restaging of one of Singapore’s most important theatre classics, Those Who Can’t, Teach! (TWCT).

TWCT is a refreshing injection of comedy and drama into a universal narrative about overstretched teachers and troubled teenagers, a subject that remains pertinent to recurring public debate on the education system.


First staged in 1990 at The Substation Opening Festival and subsequently reworked for the Singapore Arts Festival 2010 to popular and critical acclaim, TWCT by Cultural Medallion recipients Alvin Tan and Haresh Sharma offers a glimpse into the daily joys and struggles of teachers, students and even parents.

Set in a secondary school, the play looks at the madcap lives of teachers and students—with often hilarious results. As the teachers struggle daily to ‘nurture and groom’, the students prefer to hang out and chill. In the meantime, they all have to deal with the dreaded ‘parents’.


With upskirting and texting, teaching and politicking, school has never been the same. Join the rambunctious cast of characters as they struggle to prove that Those Who CAN, Teach.

“It’s an exciting time to restage Those Who Can’t, Teach,” says Haresh Sharma, TNS’ Resident Playwright. “We’ve been getting many requests from teachers and students to bring the play back after its staging and publication in 2010 by Epigram Books.”


He adds, “The actors are hilarious in their delivery and comic timing. However, the play also tackles serious issues such as inter-personal relationship and friendship, class and hierarchy, empowerment and multiple intelligence.”

Alvin and Haresh lead a solid ensemble including household names like Siti Khalijah Zainal and veteran actor Karen Tan. Joining them are acclaimed actors Ghafir Akbar and Lian Sutton, plus local theatre and film darling Joshua Lim.

Alvin Tan, Founder and Artistic Director of TNS, fondly remembers creating TWCT with the support of a community of artists, who banded together in the burgeoning arts environment of the 1990s.

“The work pays tribute to all our teachers and mentors, without whom we would not be where we are today,” says Alvin. “We stand on the shoulders of giants, and we continue to celebrate the importance of mentor-ship.”


In recognition of the important work schools do for arts education in Singapore, education institutions enjoy exclusive offers for tickets to the performance.

Dates: 9-11 & 15-18 March 2017, 8pm and 11-12 & 18-19 March 2017, 3pm.

Duration: 100 minutes with a 15-minutes interval.

Venue: Drama Centre Theatre National Library Level 3 100 Victoria Street Singapore 188064.

Tickets: (excluding SISTIC ticketing charges) Category 1 – $45, Category 2 – $36, Category 3 – $28.

Concessions Students, NSF, senior citizens, PWD card holders: 20% discount off any tier.

Tickets from SISTIC at:

  • SISTIC Website: |SISTIC Mobile app | SISTIC Hotline: 6348 5555 |
  • SISTIC Authorised Agents islandwide
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