Two long-time collaborators/friends and veterans of the Singapore art scene, Ivan Heng & Glen Goei is set to appear on stage together for the FIRST time ever. The two will play the celestial snakes of legend Mama White Snake in the 15th edition of W!LD RICE’s annual must-see holiday musical.
This original musical will also mark Glen Goei’s long-awaited return to the Singapore stage after 30 years. His last appearance on stage was in the title role of M. Butterfly (1987) opposite Sir Anthony Hopkins
“I grew up on these Chinese folktales and, now, they are lost on an entire generation who grew up on Western culture,” says Goei. “I think it is time we reclaim them and introduce them to a younger audience; our cultural heritage needs to be preserved and passed on.”
As the second half of this sister act, Heng plays the charismatic Green Snake. “Glen and I first met at a fancy dress competition in secondary school,” Heng recalls. “And, after years of shared adventures in the theatre, we are so glad to finally be in a show together – once again in fancy dress!”
Directed by Pam Oei and written by W!LD RICE’s own resident playwright, Alfian Sa’at, this blockbuster production tells the tale of a young man who suffers an identity crisis when he discovers that his mother and her best friend are not who he has always believed them to be.
“I wanted to stay true to the spirit of the original story while also introducing new perspectives and ideas,” explains Alfian. “In many ways, Mama White Snake celebrates unconventionality. Meng, our young hero, grew up in a non-traditional household, raised by his hardworking, widowed mother and her sister. But these women are not just efficient home-makers. They’re also fighters, in a very literal sense. And I think the script plays tribute to the strength and spirit of these women.”
Featuring brand-new songs by award-winning composer Elaine Chan and choreography by dance prodigy Andy Benjamin Cai, Mama White Snake showcases the finest talents from Singapore and the region, including Andrew Marko, Cheryl Tan, Siti Khalijah Zainal and Zelda Tatiana Ng.
In the months leading up to this exciting new production, the cast have trained tirelessly with experts such as martial arts choreographer Gordon Choy.
“It’s been inspiring and humbling, for me, to watch Glen and Ivan – these theatre veterans who are also dear friends of mine – embrace the physical training so completely,” says Oei. “They put millennials, and me, to shame!”
Audience can be expect themselves to be transported into another dimension filled with eye-popping displays of traditional martial arts, stunning acrobatic sequences and daring sword-fights, as well as elaborate, stunning costumes inspired by classical Chinese operas.
Catch the young talents from FIRST STAGE!, a W!LD RICE programme that nurtures young talents from the ages of 5 to 12. This year, over 20 children will train and rehearse alongside professional theatre-makers. They will be playing multiple roles in the production, as well as sing, dance and perform wushu stunts.
A heartwarming story with plenty of stitch-inducing comedy and nail-biting action, W!LD RICE’s Mama White Snake promises to be the perfect holiday entertainment for the entire family.
Tickets to Mama White Snake is now on sale via SISTIC and selling out fast!
Sat & Sun: 2.30pm
Preview (24 Nov, 7.30pm & 25 Nov, 2.30pm)
Standard: S$70, S$60, S$45
Restricted View: S$50
Tues – Thur, 7.30pm
Standard: S$75, S$65, S$50
Restricted View: S$55
Sat & Sun, 2.30pm and Fri – Sat, 7.30pm
Standard: S$80, S$70, S$55
Restricted View: S$60