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Wild Rice delays opening of state-of-the-art new theatre and cancels two shows

SINGAPORE — Local theatre company Wild Rice has pulled the plug on the two headline shows of its planned “housewarming” season at its new S$15 million theatre in Funan mall — owing to “unavoidable delays” in the completion of the new facility.

The main theatre at the new facility, the 358-seat Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre, will feature Singapore’s first “thrust” stage — a stage which extends into the auditorium with the audience seated on three sides.

The main theatre at the new facility, the 358-seat Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre, will feature Singapore’s first “thrust” stage — a stage which extends into the auditorium with the audience seated on three sides.

SINGAPORE — Local theatre company Wild Rice has pulled the plug on the two headline shows of its planned “housewarming” season at its new S$15 million theatre in Funan mall — owing to “unavoidable delays” in the completion of the new facility.

The main theatre at the new facility, the 358-seat Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre, will feature Singapore’s first “thrust” stage — a stage which extends into the auditorium with the audience seated on three sides.

It was inspired by the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and is designed by a team including leading Singaporean architecture studio Zarch Collaboratives and renowned international theatre design consultancy Charcoalblue.

Sold out show Faghag, starring Pam Oei, was scheduled to run from July 24 to 28, while An Actress Prepares, starring Siti Khalijah, was supposed to run from July 10 to 14.

Tickets for both shows will be refunded via the original mode of payment.

In an email sent out to ticket holders, artistic director Ivan Heng said: “We are very grateful to all who booked tickets to these shows in good faith. We are deeply sorry for disappointing you, and for any inconvenience caused."

Wild Rice’s youth showcase — Anything Can Happen/Something Must Happen — scheduled to run from July 4 to 7, will be relocated to Aliwal Arts Centre.

Mr Heng described the construction of the state-of-the-art theatre as a “highly complex and mammoth undertaking”.

He said: “We seek your understanding that this theatre has to be built without compromising safety, and to the exacting standards that our theatre community and audiences deserve.”

In response to queries from TODAY, Zarch Collaboratives’ lead architect Randy Chan said that working within a tight space in Funan mall has its challenges.

The 22,000 sq ft complex spans three floors in the newly-renovated Funan mall, which will be open to shoppers on June 28, said a spokesperson for developer CapitaLand.

All equipment in the theatre, including its acoustics, mechanical and fire compliance system and electrical wiring, have to meet the exact specifications.

There were also unexpected delays in the procurement and delivery of custom-designed seats imported from Spain, said Mr Chan.

“We made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel the shows because we have one shot at creating a truly iconic destination theatre for Singapore,” said Mr Heng.

“We want to get it right, and it matters to us to maintain the integrity of our design. Most importantly, we want to make sure everyone — our artists and audiences — are safe in the space,” he added.

The theatre will open on Aug 8 with a re-staging of Thomas Lim’s award-winning Supervision, featuring Janice Koh, Patrick Teoh and Umi Kalthum Ismail.

 

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funan theatre Wild Rice fine art events and attractions musicals

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