Organiser of musical 'to honour all contracts'

The organiser of Singapura: The Musical, which cut short its run, says it will honour all contracts, as several cast, crew and vendors spoke of non-payment or delays in being paid.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, the 4th Wall Theatre Company Singapore confirmed that the $2.72 million production had closed earlier than its previously announced date of this Sunday, but it did not provide any reasons.

The company said in a statement: "There are administrative matters at hand that need to be finalised with the various suppliers involved. At this juncture, we cannot discuss further details due to confidentiality reasons. We want to assure everyone that Singapura: The Musical will honour all contracted agreements."

The musical closed at Capitol Theatre on July 2, said a spokesman for Capitol Investment Holdings, which owns Capitol Theatre. Singapura was the first show to be staged at the newly reopened 977-seat theatre at City Hall.

The spokesman also said: "As the production was an opening performance at Capitol Theatre, an exclusive venue package was made available to the company. We respect the decision to shorten the duration of the musical and will not be imposing any fines."

The musical, which had received mixed reviews since opening on May 22, featured a mainly Filipino cast and traced the decade leading up to Singapore's independence, including historical incidents such as the Hock Lee bus riots set against the stories of ordinary people.

Cast and crew members of the production whom The Straits Times spoke to said that attendances had been dismal, with the 40-or-so cast performing at times to an almost-empty theatre.

One actor, who requested not to be named as he has not yet been paid, said that payment has been delayed for most cast members, both Filipino and Singaporean. An external vendor engaged by the musical, who also declined to be named, said that his firm was paid last month, four months after its work had been completed.

This article was first published on July 14, 2015.
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