chapter  9
6 Pages


A global city has to differentiate itself from other global cities in order to accentuate its identity and yet, at the same time, it must exude enough familiarity for global tourists with mainstream tastes to feel comfortable. Perhaps more than any other cultural site, the Singapore theatre field is one that witnesses most fully the struggle between local and global forces. On one hand, the theatre field’s commitment to the local and the articulation of the national narrative has produced stories of resonance that have fleshed out Singaporean lives and their everyday conditions. Whether it is the use of Singlish on stage, the expression of gay identities, critique of the authoritarian state, the asymmetrical politics of majority-minority groups, increasing urban alienation, cultural histories and so on, local theatre has, since the mid 1980s, entrenched itself in the national artistic landscape as a rich repository of Singaporean narratives and imaginations.