Announcement

Fun and funny shows: Esplanade’s Flipside

By Jo TanEvents - 14 May 2014 9:00 AM | Updated 24 May 2014

Fun and funny shows: Esplanade’s Flipside

This season is usually a time when Singapore is crackling with high culture: for more than 30 years, May has been the time for the Singapore Arts Festival – now called Singapore International Festival of the Arts – with artists here and visiting ones staging awe-inspiring, massively meaningful works of art and performances.

But if high art is just too heavy-going for you, then check out ‘Flipside’, the annual fringe festival of arts at Esplanade Theatres on the Bay.

Its tagline has been “The Lighter Side of the Arts”, so you cannot go wrong there.

The festival's audiences will be at the heart of, if not part of the art.

Ye Jun Min, producer of Flipside, announced proudly, “The festival boasts interactive visual installations and handicraft workshops, a brand new FlipsideBazaar (31 May, 1 June), as well as more than 100 non-ticketed performances and roving acts.”

One highlight will be the mini-orchestra along the waterfront which has “lost” the conductor, so the members of the public get to have a go at conducting the musicians so that the show may go on.

””
Jeff Achtem's 'Swamp Juice'. Photo: Andrew Wuttke 

Don't want to go to the artists? They might go to you.

Elle May Paterson and Erwin Shah Ismail have created Flippin’ Rovers!, an attractive art group which will launch “sneak art attacks” on Esplanade-goers during the festival.

Erwin said: “I'll wander around the Esplanade with a hidden ukulele, to accompany singer Taryn (Erickson), who will break into song when you least expect it. There's also Boy (Muhd Yumida bin Sumitra) who is a breakdancer, Elle May who is a ballet/contemporary dancer, and Josh Wei, a very talented violinist. They'll collaborate at various locations to present a kind of dance flash mob.”

For those into food art, check out ‘Out of the Cakebox’ (31 May; 1, 7, 8 June). There is a free Cookie Decoration Workshop, and you get to decorate your own pre-baked cookie.

For patrons who prefer doing their art appreciation in a theatre, there are three diverse ticketed shows.

LAUGHS AND SONGS

Maywa Denki. Photo: Esplanade

From Japan is Maywa Denki (named after an actual Japanese electronics company) presenting ‘Voice Mechanics’ (7 June, 7.30pm). A group of serious staff members in uniforms will showcase their products, except the products are hilarious self-constructed instruments such as the laughing machine or the barking gun, all used to create a happy hodge-podge of song, dance, absurd humour, involving lots of audience interaction.

From Canada, Jeff Achtem offers audiences a toast of ‘Swamp Juice’ (31 May, 3pm, 7pm; 1 June, 3pm). It is a spectacular saga of greed, retribution and redemption, enacted completely using shadow puppets built from household waste. The finale will be in 3D, complete with 3D glasses for the audiences.

Singapore's own singer-actress-comedienne Judee Tan, well-known for playing various hilarious characters on Channel 5’s ‘The Noose’ and on stage, will now use her time in this festival to show herflipside: her primal, personal self as a singer.

“The show is a cabaret called ‘Nu Men: the Wild Woman Sings’ (6 Jun, 7.30pm; 7 Jun, 7.30pm, 9.30pm). It revolves around these songs I wanted to sing, and I realised that they all talk about women… In the show, I'm sharing stories that are very personal (and) some of what I need to say is right there in the songs.”

Tan is aware that this baring of the soul isn't exactly “The Lighter Side of the Arts”, but asserted: “For very few shows in Singapore do we get to explore the dark spaces in a woman's soul… Anyway, lighter and darker are just categories to make sense of things. Whether in women or in art, both are needed to be beautiful.

“And oh yes, it will be humorous.”

‘Flipside’ | Date: 30 May-8 June 2014 | Time: Various timings | Venue: Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, 1 Esplanade Drive | Tickets: $35-$40 from Sistic

Flipside 2014: Nu Men - The Wild Woman Sings by Judee Tan

Flipside 2014: Nu Men - The Wild Woman Sings by Judee Tan

Date Jun 06, 2014 - Jun 07, 2014

VenueEsplanade - Theatres on The Bay

Ticket PriceS$35.00
 (excludes booking fee)

Flipside 2014: Voice Mechanics by Maywa Denki

Flipside 2014: Voice Mechanics by Maywa Denki

Date Jun 07, 2014

VenueEsplanade - Theatres on The Bay

Ticket PriceS$40.00
 (excludes booking fee)

Flipside 2014: Swamp Juice by Bunkpuppets

Flipside 2014: Swamp Juice by Bunkpuppets

Date May 31, 2014 - Jun 01, 2014

VenueEsplanade - Theatres on The Bay

Ticket PriceS$35.00
 (excludes booking fee)