Inside peek into 881:The Musical

By EditorEvents - 16 February 2011 10:14 AM | Updated 01 March 2011

Inside peek into 881:The Musical

We are revealing details on how you can WIN tickets to watch this dazzling performance soon, so watch this space!

Remember the beloved Papaya sisters? Well, they are back! 881:The Musical is set to take audiences on a musical journey of passion, sorrow, and joy through the lives of the Papaya sisters who dream to rule the getai circuit.

Find out how you can WIN TIX to this colorful local musical!

We spoke to award-winning playwright and director, Goh Boon Teck, who is also the Chief Artistic Director of Toy Factory Productions about this much-anticipated musical.


1.How would you describe 881 to a getai virgin?

881:The Musical celebrates a heartland art form in the most sophisticated manner at the Esplanade Theatre. You’ll get the gungho attitude of getai in an air-conditioned state-of-the-art theatre with songs and dance numbers that will make you both laugh and cry.

We are consolidating the best of getai culture into 2 and a half hours. 881 is all about humanity and life presented in the most enjoyable way. And not to worry if you are a non-Hokkien or Mandarin speaker – we have very good English subtitles!


2. Have you encountered any language barriers with the multi-national cast, considering the musical is sung in Mandarin and Hokkien?

No. The cast have picked up the songs and lines very well. For cast members who aren’t fluent in Mandarin and Hokkien, they were able to learn and pick up through practice. Much like Desmond Charles, who plays 800 – he is Eurasian but he is practising as much as he can, and sounds awesome in his song!

3. Judee and Joanna are virtually twins with their costumes on. How do you tell them apart?

It is not difficult for me to identify them - one has a voice that can make the most rebellious sparrow fly down from the tree; the other has a colourful rich tone so versatile that it can evoke almost all emotions. One of them is sweet like the morning dew and the other is as lovely as summer rain.

The chemistry they have is extraordinary; you might even think that they are from the same parents! It is important that the Papaya Sisters have strong feelings for each other on and off stage. We want you to believe and be convinced totally.

4. What do you envison will be the biggest difference between the movie and the musical?

We’ve retained the essence, story and flavour from Royston Tan’s brilliant movie for the stage adaptation. However, we’ve added five newly-composed songs to tighten the plot. Expect even more show-stopping costumes on stage and three new characters, Fu, Lu, and Shou, who have been added in for more entertainment value.

5. Do let us in on the craziest thing that's happened from the moment the musical was conceptualised!

During one of our crazy rehearsals in a karaoke joint, where we went to practice our Hokkien singing, we ended up having so much fun that the cast started dancing and performing. The models used in the MTVs made us laughed a lot too. That was a crazy night!


881: The Musical is on from 15 to 17 April 2011 and 19 to 24 April 2011(no performance on 18 April), at the Esplanade Theatre. Public ticket sales start from 17 January 2011.

10% discount for Cat A & B from 14 Feb - 21 Feb 2011, readers can call SISTIC hotline or visit outlets to shout out password "I love 881" to enjoy discount.  Unlimited number of tickets purchased.


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