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Musicals in the Raw


 

MUSICAL THEATRE IN THE RAW
Pioneering production shows the way for local musical theatre
A report by Aaron Lye in the Business Times 18 June 2005

Don't Say I Do

In today's Business Times, there is a report on Five Foot Broadway by Aaron Lye. He asked: "What do you do if you lament the state of the local musical scene, but don't necessarily have the funds that would be needed to make a difference? Well, you get together with a group of like-minded people and do something about it." He then went on to say that our festival of new musicals is "an unorthodox "grassroots, no-frills approach to musicals" that seems to be part of a growing trend around the world." The idea arose from the observation that there was a poverty of Singapore musicals. Large productions cost mega-bucks and the financial risk was too perilous. Production companies worldwide were playing it safe by doing revivals of "safe" musicals.

To break out of this trap, there is a new movement in places like New York and London, where new musicals are being showcased in festivals. This could provide production companies and audiences with a wider choice of musicals to choose from.

Aaron Lye goes on to say: "And a wider choice there certainly is. Five Foot Broadway incorporates five new, locally-produced musicals that resulted from an equally unusual creative process. Without the funding usually required for such productions, Ken Lyen got in touch with a team of scriptwritersÂ… and "married" them to a circle of composers he was acquainted with. He goes on to say: "There's no dearth of talent, writers, composers and volunteers in local musical theatre, as evidenced by UAN's trailblazing production."

He ends the article with a quotation: "People coming to this production will see musical theatre produced in the raw. They'll be seeing the creative process, and I think what I would like them to take away is that there's a lot of talent in Singapore, and that there's volunteerism - no one's getting paid for this - and wonderful camaraderie among a lot of selfless people who are passionate about musical theatre."