Staged at LASALLE College of the Arts, Creative Cube 06 – 10 Jul 2016, part of the Singapore Theatre Festival 2016


In a Singapore where dialects have been losing relevance for generations, Grandmother Tongue traces a young man’s struggle to connect with his 84-year-old Teochew-speaking grandmother. He teaches her to use a mobile phone. He helps her buy her favourite brand of soya sauce. He visits her in hospital after a fall. Along the way, he begins to understand just what it means to spend decades in linguistic and cultural exile.

Inspired by Kuo Pao Kun’s seminal Mama Looking For Her Cat, Thomas Lim’s funny, insightful play examines the social costs of our mother-tongue language policy and the erasure of dialects in today’s Singapore. In ways both humorous and heartbreaking, Grandmother Tongue explores how our identities are bound up with the languages that we use and the ones that we lose.

Performed in English and Teochew, with English surtitles. Grandmother Tongue was presented by W!LD RICE and premiered at the Singapore Theatre Festival 2016 


Jalyn Han
Tan Shou Chen
Rei Poh


Written & Directed by Thomas Lim
Set Designer CK Chia
Lighting Designer Petrina Dawn Tan
Hair Designer Ashley Lim
Make-up Designer The Make Up Room
Language Coach (Teochew) Lim Ngian Tiong
Production Manager Xu Xin’en
Stage Manager Pamela Lai
Producer Tony Trickett

Photo Credits: W!LD Rice (for the photos not linked to Instagram in this page)


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