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Created by Ng Yi-Sheng, directed by Tan Shou Chen and performed by Rebekah Sangeetha Dorai, Yap Yi Kai and Izzul Irfan.

Centre 42’s The Vault: Desert Blooms is a lecture-performance tracing the history of Singapore theatre from 1985 to 1995 through a queer lens. It was during this period amidst laments of Singapore’s “cultural dessert” that bold queer and queer-allied voices quietly but insistently began proliferating across the local theatre scene.

Starting at the time when Army Daze’s Kenny Pereira first declared he could do a fabulous impersonation of Diana Ross (and the Supremes), through to when Mergers and Accusations’s Ellen met Lesley, the lesbian lawyer from London, Desert Blooms whizzes through a prickly but fruitful decade which yielded our earliest and most canonical LGBTQ-themed plays.

Created by researcher-writer Ng Yi-Sheng and directed by Tan Shou Chen, Desert Blooms not only refers to a whole host of colourful, groundbreaking plays, but reconstructs the contexts of early queer Singaporean theatre-making with historical materials and interviews with theatre practitioners. Desert Blooms will be brought to life by Rebekah Sangeetha Dorai, Yap Yi Kai and Izzul Irfan.

Join us to relive a golden era in Singapore theatre history, a time when theatre-makers felt emboldened enough to – according to theatre researcher Terence Chong – “perform their authenticity”, creating some of our most enduring and loved characters and plays, and leaving a lasting legacy for theatre-makers today to revel in and build upon.

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