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Ten Thousand Tigers


Thu Apr 17 2014, 8:00pm
Fri Apr 18 2014, 8:00pm
Sat Apr 19 2014, 3:00pm
Sat Apr 19 2014, 8:00pm

Where: Esplanade Theatre Studio , 1 Esplanade Drive, Marina Bay, Singapore

Restrictions: All ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $28.00
  • Additional fees may apply

A tape is played, a voice is emitted, the air vibrates. Speech is a spell. The ejected word, before it is burdened with meaning, is breath, that which animates the flesh of things.

The stage awakens. Curtains open, a flag flutters, photographs speak. A trail is beaten through a forest of shape-shifting symbols, where things lose their borders, and the line between man and animal, past and present, dissolves.

In 1421, Ming Dynasty mariner Admiral Zheng He visited Malacca. His translator, Ma Huan recorded:

"In town there are tigers
that can assume human form;
they enter the markets,
and walk about,
mixing with the populace.
If anyone recognized
one of these creatures,
he would seize it and kill it."

The Malayan Tiger has always been a creature of metamorphosis. It thrives in the realm of metaphors and lives in a house with walls of human skin, and roofs of human hair. When you look into the faces of kings, you may catch a fleeting glimpse of the tiger that lurks beneath. Descendants of royal blood, along with shamans, can, in the midst of crossing a river, shed the prison of their human form - becoming tigers.

In the world premiere of film and theatre director Ho Tzu Nyen's hallucinatory piece exploring the folklores, cosmologies and subterranean histories of Malaya, an ensemble of automated objects come to life - and recount the tale of the Malayan Tiger's numerous deaths and incessant returns, across a thousand years. Seamlessly shifting between live performance, video and sound art, Ten Thousand Tigers is a theatrical séance bringing together spectral animals, magical shape-shifters and the ghosts of forgotten armies.

Directed & Written by Ho Tzu Nyen
Set Design by Andy Lim, Jed Lim
Lighting Design by Andy Lim
Sound Design by Jeffrey Yue
Music by Yasuhiro Morinaga
Performed by Bani Haykal, Hiro Machida, Rizman Putra, Sim Pern Yiau
Production: Yap Seok Hui, Stephanie Goh

Co-commissioned by Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay (Singapore), Asian Culture Complex - Asian Arts Theatre (Korea), Carriageworks (Australia), Wiener Festwochen (Austria).

Supported by National Arts Council