SINGAPORE - The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival turns 10 next year. And for that milestone, the small but gutsy festival will celebrate Art And The People.
The theme marks a return to its roots of sorts, given the festival's reputation for punching above its weight with its edgy programming and offbeat artists in recent years.
Organised by home-grown theatre company The Necessary Stage, a company known for its socially conscious work and strong community engagement, the festival will feature audience members alongside its artists from Jan 8 to 19.
Works in the line-up encourage interaction and play. For instance, audience members can both "adopt" and discover tiny plastic figurines scattered across the island and use them as a means to get to know someone new, in a work named Foundin by local artist Tan Wei Keong.
Or they can participate in a forum theatre production by The Necessary Stage's Theatre For Seniors, intervening on behalf of characters on stage. Japanese artist Takuya Murakawa will also be inviting an audience member to play an invalid on stage in the piece Zeitgeber.
The Necessary Stage aims to create challenging, indigenous and innovative work, and this emphasis on Singapore work is keenly felt in the festival's strong local line-up next year.
Curated by the group's artistic director Alvin Tan, its resident playwright Haresh Sharma and company manager Melissa Lim, the festival features 15 works from six countries next year.
Ms Lim, 37, says: "The Fringe is an extension of our philosophy. It's a platform for cutting-edge, thought- provoking work by emerging and established artists alike. It serves as a means for us to pose salient questions about our world today, as seen from the choices of the themes each year.