Finally, Square Moon hits the stage

Finally, Square Moon hits the stage

A political play that had its reading at The Substation last year cancelled will now be staged next month.

Square Moon, by playwright Wong Souk Yee, one of 22 people detained in the 1987 Marxist conspiracy arrests, centres on detention without trial and it has been given an R(18) rating. The play is directed by Peter Sau and stars veteran actors Lim Kay Siu and Neo Swee Lin.

The Substation explained to Life! last year that the reading, organised by civil society group Function 8, was cancelled because it had been "advised on the content of the play".

Plans to stage the work at the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival early this year also fell through.

Although the play was put on hold, Wong, 55, says she received a lot of encouragement from friends "and I thought there was no reason why I could not do it on my own".

The performance will be produced by her and Chng Suan Tze. They co-founded theatre company Third Stage in the 1980s, which is now defunct.

The play's debut marks Wong's return to the theatre scene after 26 years. Now a part-time English language lecturer at the National University of Singapore, she says: "It was with much trepidation that I set foot on the stage again.

"I don't feel I am an artist. I just think that I have quite an active imagination and... I have some stories to tell."

The impetus for her to write the play was the escape of terrorist Mas Selamat Kastari in 2008 from the Whitley Road Detention Centre. "Friends jokingly asked if I had attempted to 'dig any tunnel' during my time there," she says. She was arrested and detained at the centre from 1987 to 1988 under the Internal Security Act for participating in a conspiracy to overthrow the Government.

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