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'Covid resilient': NDP 2022 show to go ahead 'regardless of the situation', says organising committee

SINGAPORE — For the first full-scale National Day Parade (NDP) in three years, the centrepiece of Singapore's 57th birthday bash will be "Covid resilient" and will go on "regardless of the situation",  the chairman of the show committee said. 

The stage is set for the upcoming National Day Parade show on Aug 9, 2022.
The stage is set for the upcoming National Day Parade show on Aug 9, 2022.
  • The show component of the National Day Parade will go on regardless of the Covid-19 situation
  • Show committee chairman Colonel Mikail Kalimuddin said the overall design of the show and virtual elements will make this possible
  • More than 2,000 participants made up of students and community groups are involved in the show at The Float@Marina Bay
  • Actor Adrian Pang, who is also artistic director of theatre company Pangdemonium, is creative director of the show segment
  • There will also be a film directed by Mr Ken Kwek that is part of the show

SINGAPORE — For the first full-scale National Day Parade (NDP) in three years, the centrepiece of Singapore's 57th birthday bash will be "Covid resilient" and will go on "regardless of the situation",  the chairman of the show committee said. 

The Aug 9 show at the Marina Bay floating platform, which will look at Singapore's experience through the pandemic, includes both virtual and live elements. The virtual and live components can be adjusted "depending on the situation" and the components allow the committee to stay "adaptable", Colonel Mikail Kalimuddin told reporters at a media event on Tuesday (June 29).

Colonel Mikail's comments came after Singapore recorded a significant jump in Covid-19 cases, with 11,504 new infections recorded on Tuesday, the highest daily total in three months.

This is the first full-scale NDP after two years of scaled-down events, with more than 2,000 participants made up of students and community groups set to perform in front of what is expected to be a near-capacity audience.

Colonel Mikail said: "So I think in the overall design of the show, when we integrated film, (it) can go on regardless of the situation.

"We're also quite deliberate in the overall scale of the show, in terms of the number of performers, and I think we also added in a combination of virtual and live (elements) so this allows us to be a bit adaptable. We can shift more to virtual or live depending on the situation." 

When asked if there will be any changes to the show’s concept if the pandemic situation worsens, Colonel Mikail declined to comment. 

Titled The Story of Us, the NDP 2022 show will have over 2,000 performers, including students and community groups such as Touch Community Services and Soka Gakkai Singapore in a live performance at The Float@Marina Bay. 

Close to 500 secondary school students will be performing live, while 800 tertiary institution students will be doing their part as performers, audience motivators and make-up artists.

The parade’s show segment is helmed by actor Adrian Pang, who is also artistic director of theatre company Pangdemonium. It is his first time as creative director of the show. 

He said that this year’s show is a reflection of the experiences and lessons from the pandemic. He also drew inspiration from his own experiences in overcoming the crisis.

"I figured that the only way for me to be able to create something meaningful was kind of through my own experience and just from friends and people that I’d spoken to over the month about the experience of going through the pandemic,” he said.

I figured that the only way for me to be able to create something meaningful was kind of through my own experience and just from friends and people that I’d spoken to over the month about the experience of going through the pandemic.
NDP 2022 show director Adrian Pang

Mr Pang added: “There was something very resonant and very meaningful that I think we as a people, as a nation, as Singaporeans, could come together and take stock of, to reflect on, to be grateful for what we still have — and use all those elements to carry into the future.” 

The five-chapter show will pay tribute to the different sectors of society — such as frontline workers, social and community groups, and families — for playing their part in supporting Singapore through the pandemic.

The film, titled Connections, written and directed by Mr Ken Kwek, will be featured during the show. The film highlights how families and communities remained united in their resolve to overcome the difficulties during the pandemic, though they were affected in different ways. 

Speaking to reporters, Mr Kwek said that he spoke to a “broad spectrum of Singaporeans” for the film. 

“This film is about all the different parts of our country — all the people that make up our communities and what their lives are in this sort of granular detail. 

“Let’s not forget that the last three years have been trying times and there have been moments of great isolation and loneliness, and I think that one of things that this tries to do is to show how people got through that sense of isolation and loneliness,” he added.

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NDP National Day show adrian pang The Float@Marina Bay

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