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Admiral's Odyssey, The
Atlas Unbound
Big Bang!
Bunga Mawar
But Now We See
Chameleon
Chang and Eng
Chestnuts
Corporate Animals
Exodus
Fences
Firefly in the Light
Forbidden City
Georgette
Good History, A
Haunted
I Have a Date with Spring
It's My Life
Kampong Amber
Kung Fu Tale, A
Lao Jiu
Lao Jiu (2012)
Lost in Transit
Magic Paintbrush
The Magic Paintbrush: the Musical
Makan Place
Making the Grade
Mortal Sins
Mr Beng
Nanyang the musical
Oi! Sleeping Beauty!
Pagoda Street
Phua Chu Kang
Pursuant
Re:Mix
Roses & Hello
Sayang
School House Rockz
Shanghai Blues
Shanty
Sing to the Dawn
Singapura: the musical
Sleepless Town
Snow Queen, The
Snow Wolf Lake
So You Want to be a Nurse
Temptations
24 Hours
Twist of Fate, A
Viva Lah! Singapura
Women on Canvas
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The Singapore Musical


 

The Singapore Musical

by Ken Lyen

When playwright Robert Yeo reviewed Beauty World for the Straits Times in 1988, he wrote that Beauty World was Singapore's first musical. He promptly received a phone call from Act 3's Ruby Lim-Yang protesting that this was incorrect. She informed him that Makan Place was Singapore's first musical. It had been earlier reviewed by the Straits Times as a musical with "simple, catchy songs and an interesting group of characters."

Perhaps the most important figure in the history of Singapore musical theater is Dick Lee. He wrote several landmark musicals, including Beauty World, Nagraland, Sing to the Dawn, A Twist of Fate, and Forbidden City. Probably the most commercially successful Singapore musical to date, touring China, Hong Kong and Thailand, is Chang and Eng by Ken Low and Ming Wong. The most prolific composer is arguably yours truly.

Below is a list of musicals staged in Singapore:

Makan Place (1988)
Music by Jasmin Samat Simon, Book and lyrics by R. Chandran

Beauty World (1988)
Music and lyrics by Dick Lee, Book by Michael Chiang

Fried Rice Paradise (1991)
Music and lyrics by Dick Lee

Nagraland (1992)
Music and lyrics by Dick Lee

Bugis Street (1994)
Music by Raymond and Edmund Ooi, Lyrics by Tan Hwee Hua and Mock Pak Lum, Book by Koh Buck Song and Tan Hwee Hua

River in Time (1994)
Music and lyrics by Eric Watson, Book by Wen Watson

Kampong Amber (1994)
Music and lyrics by Dick Lee, Book by Catherine Lim

Big Bang! (1995)
Music by Ken Lyen and Desmond Moey, Lyrics by Desmond Moey, Book by Stephen Yan

Mortal Sins (1995)
Music and lyrics by Dick Lee, Book by Michael Chiang

Corporate Animals (1995)
Music and lyrics by Ken Low, Book by Desmond Sim

Land of a Thousand Dreams (1995)
Music and lyrics by Eric Watson, Book by Ovidia Yu

Orchard Square (1996)
Music by Ken Lyen and Desmond Moey, lyrics by Desmond Moey, Book by Ken Lyen

Sing to the Dawn (1996)
Music by Dick Lee, Lyrics by Stephen Clark, Book by Ho Minfong and Stephen Clark

Snow Wolf Lake (1996)
Music by Dick Lee

Chang and Eng (1997)
Music and lyrics by Ken Low, Book by Ming Wong

Chase the Rainbow (1997)
Music by Ken Lyen and Desmond Moey, Lyrics by Desmond Moey, Book by Jeffrey Tan

Hot Pants (1997)
Music and lyrics by Dick Lee

A Twist of Fate (1997)
Music by Dick Lee, Lyrics by Anthony Drewe, Book by Stephen Dexter and Tony Petito

24 Hours (1999)
Music by Babes Condes, Book by Haresh Sharma

Mr Beng  (1999)
Music by Iskandar Ismail, Book by Otto Fong

Haunted  (1999)
Music by Mark Chan, Book by Ovidia Yu

Yum Sing! (1999)
Music by Ken Lyen, Desmond Moey and Iskandar Ismail, Lyrics by Desmond Moey, Book by Ken Lyen

I Have a Date with Spring (1999)

Temptations (2000)
Music by Ken Lyen, Desmond Moey and Iskandar Ismail, Lyrics by Desmond Moey, Book by Ken Lyen

The Magic Paintbrush  (2000)
Music by Ken Lyen, Book and lyrics by Brian Seward

Chameleon (2000)
Music by Bang Wenfu, Book and lyrics by Denise Marsh

Women on Canvas (2000)
Music by Bang Wenfu, Book and lyrics by Jonathan Lim

Phua Chu Kang the TV musical (2000)
Music and lyrics by Dick Lee

We Can't Dance (2000)
Music, lyrics and book by Vocaluptious

Sayang (2001)
Music by Ken Lyen, Lyrics by Ivan Ho, Book by Vincent Wong

I am Roger (2001)
Music by Bang Wenfu, Book and lyrics by Du'c Hoang

Song of the Whale (2001)
Music by Ken Lyen and Chua Yao Zhang, Book and lyrics by Du'c Hoang

Re-Mix (2002)
Music and lyrics by Dick Lee

Rainbow Fish (2002)
Music by Belinda Foo, Book and lyrics by Brian Seward

Forbidden City (2002)
Music by Dick Lee, Lyrics by Stephen Clark, Book by Stephen Clark and Dick Lee

Exodus (2003)
Music by Ken Lyen and Chua Yao Zhang, Book and lyrics by Stella Kon

The Quest for the Paper Gifts (2003)
Music by Belinda Foo, Book and lyrics by Brian Seward

Making the Grade  (2004)
Music by Ken Lyen and Karen Lim, Book and lyrics by Ng Swee San

Opiume  (2004)
Music by Mark Chan, conceived by Casey Lim

The Acorn: The True Story of Chicken Licken (2005)
Music by Belinda Foo and Bang Wenfu, Book and lyrics by Brian Seward

The Nightingale (2005)
Music by Belinda Foo and Bang Wenfu, Book and lyrics by Brian Seward

Lost in Transit  (2005)
Music by Desmond Moey, Book and lyrics by Stella Kon

Phua Chu Kang  (2005)
Music by Edmund Ooi and Peter Casey, Book uncredited, Lyrics by Edmund Ooi, Catherine Casey, Vivienne Lin, Adeline Tan

Admiral Odyssey  (2005)
Music by Ken Low, Book by Jean Tay, Lyrics by Ken Low and Jean Tay

Pagoda Street  (2005)
Music, Book and Lyrics by Declan Ee

Lao Jiu (2005)
Music by Jonathan Price, Original Play by Kuo Pao Kun, Lyrics by Xiao Han, Wu Xi, Yang Qian

The Snow Queen (2005)
Music by Darren Ng Tzer-Huei, Book and lyrics by Tracie Pang

Oi! Sleeping Beauty!  (2005)
Music by Bang Wenfu, Book and lyrics by Jonathan Lim

A Kung Fu Tale  (2006)
Music: Li Yi

Georgette (2007)
Music by Clement Yang, Book and lyrics by Ng Yi-Sheng

Schoolhouse Rockz (2008)
Music by Ken Lyen and Desmond Moey, Lyrics by Jack Ho and Desmond Moey

Shanghai Blues (2008)
Playwright: Toh Kwok-Wai

It's My Life (2008)
Music by Bang Wenfu, Lyrics by Lim Yu-Beng, Book by Chong Tze Chien

Sleepless Town (2009)
Music by Don Richmond, Book and lyrics by Mark Richmond

The Singapore musical is slowly evolving and finding its own voice. Western influences are still strong, but there is a small but significant Asian tone being heard. The stories are often based on our own experiences and those of other Asian countries. There are increasing numbers of writers and composers of musical theater, and the audience size is expanding. Exciting times lay ahead of us!