Lim Chor Pee
Selected by The Straits Times as a Classic Singapore Play in 2014
The swinging 1960s. A nightclub in Singapore. A one night stand that turns into true love. Or not? In Mimi Fan, Singapore playwright Lim Chor Pee weaves together a haunting tale about love, escapism and broken hearts searching for healing. Through the story of a teenage bar girl, Mimi Fan, whose destiny clashes with Chan Fei-Loong, an English-educated overseas Singaporean who has returned home to work, Lim brings to the fore some undeniable and searing truths: true love requires courage, it can be painful, and it can haunt you, despite your best efforts to ignore it.
Written by Singapore’s pioneer playwright Lim Chor Pee in 1962, Mimi Fan is considered Singapore’s first English-language play written by a local. It was first staged by the Experimental Theatre Club in 1962 and then restaged by Theatreworks in 1990.
“A classic…[Mimi Fan] is a confident character study featuring two young women who chose their own paths in an era where women were still expected to find fulfillment through marriage”
—Corrie Tan, The Straits Times
“A revelation...The late playwright Lim Chor Pee weaves a taut, confident drama around the two women and returning overseas student Chan Fei-Loong, an idealistic intellectual who feels emasculated in the insular and increasingly materialistic Singapore of the 1960s...Lim's maiden play is so assured that one feels a sense of regret that he stopped writing”
—Clarissa Oon, The Straits Times
“The dialogue is vibrant and meaningful and is spliced with an easy and distinctive Malayan humour”
—Victor Doggett, The Straits Times
“Attractive and brazen, Mimi symbolises the materialistic modern generation”
—The Malay Mail
About the Playwright:
Lim Chor Pee was a pioneer Singapore playwright writing in English in the early 1960s, part of a circle of writers and theatre practitioners finding their voice as Singapore gained independence.
Born in Penang in 1936, he attended the Penang Free School and in 1955, he set sail for England where he read law at St. John's College, Cambridge University. Upon graduation in 1958, he moved to London to sit for the English Bar exams. He came to Singapore in 1959 joining the Singapore Legal Service and later established himself in private practice where he spent the rest of his career.
He was the founder president of the Experimental Theatre Club (ETC), which, together with like-minded friends, he set up in 1961 to foster the growth of English language Malayan theatre in a time when the local theatre scene was dominated by expatriates and Western plays. As well as producing plays for ETC, he began to write. The following year his first play Mimi Fan was staged by ETC at the Drama Centre at Fort Canning. His second play A White Rose at Midnight was staged in 1964.
He contributed articles on the development of local theatre to Tumasek, a literary journal, for which he also served as a member of its editorial advisory board. Started by poet and novelist, Dr. Goh Poh Seng in 1964, Tumasek aimed to provide a platform to nurture local writers and counted Edwin Thumboo and Robert Yeo among its contributors.
Lim practised law for over 40 years until he passed away in December 2006, leaving behind his Swiss-born wife, three children and three grandchildren.
Size: 145 x 210mm
Published: April 2012
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