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Singapore Night Festival goes glam

SINGAPORE — A puppet version of a Las Vegas cabaret show, performances by drag queens Kumar and Becca D’Bus, and a “burlesque rock opera” by local band Tiramisu — these are some of the highlights for this year’s Singapore Night Festival, which is cheekily raising its glam factor.

Becca D'Bus, Frankie Malachi's Lost Vegas and Kumar are three highlights of this year's Singapore Night Festival.

Becca D'Bus, Frankie Malachi's Lost Vegas and Kumar are three highlights of this year's Singapore Night Festival.

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SINGAPORE — A puppet version of a Las Vegas cabaret show, performances by drag queens Kumar and Becca D’Bus, and a “burlesque rock opera” by local band Tiramisu — these are some of the highlights for this year’s Singapore Night Festival, which is cheekily raising its glam factor.

Taking place over the final two weekends of August at the Bras Basah-Bugis Precinct, the eighth instalment of the popular annual festival will carry the theme Glitz And Glamour as a way of partaking in the Jubilee Year celebrations.

“We always see the festival as a nice round-up of the nation’s birthday celebrations and this year is no different,” said festival creative director Ms Christie Chua. “We went along the lines of the festival being celebratory and golden (and chose) works that were pretty and alluring.”

A new addition to the festival is the House Of series, which will feature local artistes of different genres. Held in a tent in the field opposite The Cathay, this first one is called House Of Glamour, and will feature shows such as puppeteer Mr Frankie Malachi’s Lost Vegas, a “cabaret-style” show featuring string puppet versions of characters such as Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson - and a 4m-high show girl. “There will be a little bit of strip tease and belly dancing,” joked Mr Malachi.

Comedian Kumar will also be presenting a cabaret performance while fellow drag queen Becca D’Bus will be bringing his regular RIOT! drag revue. “We’re not going to do a watered-down show and we’re excited that RIOT! will be in the streets,” said Becca. Other performers in The House Of Glamour include ventriloquists Joseph Then and Shaun Chua; as well as local band Tiramisu, which will be hosting a “burlesque mini-rock opera”. Those hankering for the good ol’ years will be treated to a retro show, Goldies, featuring Singapore music from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Among the other highlights are performances by Singapore arts collective Starlight Alchemy, which will present “spectacles” that incorporate fire and LED technology, as well as fire and light art installations; and Belgian group Theatre Tol will present a parade inspired by the fantastical paintings of Marc Chagall, culminating in a carousel of angels at the National Museum of Singapore.

Some regular festival fixtures are back, such as the festival village at the Singapore Management University Green, which will feature local buskers, film screenings and food stalls, as well as the Night Lights installation showcase of works that will be up at various locations. But festival visitors will not just be passive spectators. The organisers have also introduced the Behind The Night programme, which will feature workshops and talks to give audiences the chance to meet some of the festival artists or create works of their own.

“It’s also about interactivity and not just enjoying installations and performances from afar,” said Ms Chua.

The complete festival line-up will be revealed closer to the festival opening.

The Singapore Night Festival 2015 will take place on Aug 21, 22, 28 and 29, from 7pm to 2am, at various venues. For more information, visit http://www.nightfest.sg.

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