Tan Tarn How: Six Plays
Let Tan Tarn How, one of Singapore’s most controversial playwrights, take you on a journey that confronts the social and political issues facing Singaporeans today. With his signature wit and unflinching candour, he puts the spotlight on issues of life and death, sex and love, government, national identity and racism. This collection contains six award-winning plays and an introduction by Dr. K. K. Seet.
On The Lady of Soul and Her Ultimate “S” Machine
“…the most important thing about Tan Tarn How’s play is its marking of a watershed in Singapore theatre: it is arguably the first English play to present the country critically and artistically, without hiding behind coy allegory.”
—Hannah Pandian, The Straits Times
Selected by The Straits Times as a Classic Singapore Play in 2014
“The play, a farce about the goings-on in an internal security department, takes Singapore theatre into uncharted territory.”
—Koh Buck Song, The Straits Times
On Six of the Best
“Six of the Best, in dealing with such an explosive topic, will hopefully get under the skin to the heart of racism in Singapore.”
—Phua Mei Pin, The Straits Times
On The First Emperor’s Last Days
“With The First Emperor’s Last Days, playwright Tan Tarn How continues to stake out a unique place for himself in Singapore theatre, as a creator of topical, political plays.”
—Cherian George, The Straits Times
“Tan’s sensitivity and genius is obvious throughout: the dialogue is light but loaded. In the exchanges, there are just the right doses of surprise to compliment, of feigned ignorance to encourage and of coyness to intrigue, as both the man and woman manoeuvre expertly towards their ultimate goal—the bed, after which the relationship ceases to be.”
—Suhaila Sulaiman, The Straits Times
About the Playwright
Tan Tarn How, senior research fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, Singapore, graduated in 1982 from Peterhouse College, University of Cambridge with BA Honours in the Natural Sciences Tripos. He also has a Diploma in Education from Singapore’s Institute of Education. After teaching, he joined The Straits Times and from 1987-1996 was a political reporter, op-ed writer, arts deputy editor, and foreign correspondent in Hong Kong and Beijing. He left to be head scriptwriter for television drama and comedy at MediaCorp for about two years before returning to the newspaper in 1999 to be its science and technology editor, political correspondent and deputy news editor until 2005. He has also been the associate artistic director of the drama company Theatreworks, leading workshops for budding playwrights. Besides the six full-length plays in this volume, Tan has also written the plays In Praise of the Dentist, Confessions of 300 Unmarried Men and Fear of Writing (also published by Epigram Books).
Size: 145 x 210mm
Published: March 2011
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