i don't usually blog about personal stuff. it's all about work. but PINK DOT http://www.pinkdot.sg means a lot to me. it's also something which i can use my position to campaign for something that is close to my heart.Pink Dot Sg is a non-profit movement that cares deeply about the place that Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender Singaporeans call home. It is a group for everyone, straight and gay, who support the belief that everyone deserves the freedom to love. With openness and acceptance, we hope to bring LGBT Singaporeans closer to their family and friends.yesterday we brought together more than 15 000 people in a beautiful, glowing celebration of the freedom to love, in a society not usually associated with liberty. it's a small step, but we believe that it brings us one day closer to Someday http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qpf6EVEOXg&feature=youtu.be when we will all be free to love whomever we want to, and how we want to. i was one of this year's Pink Dot Ambassadors, and i hope you'll take a minute, whatever your stand, to read and watch, and think and feel.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVo6U6BdB6g&feature=shareand as always,Peace...
next week some friends are putting up a concert which we call WE "HEART" EMMA. emma yong was a dear friend to us, a shining star in the singapore musical theatre scene, a beautiful, strong, fiesty and brave woman. she was an inspiration to us when she lived, and still is today. we are mounting this concert to raise funds for the EMMA YONG FUND The fund gives aid to theatre practitioners in Singapore suffering from cancer and/or other critical illnesses. The fund is administered with the assistance of the Community Foundation of Singapore as well as the Singapore Cancer Society. please check out www.emmayongfund.org for details. all proceeds go only to the fund. we loved her, and we in the theatre community take care of our own. so if you are in singapore on the 15th, please come! the concert will be a night of song, fun and laughter. (emma would have been very annoyed if we didn't make it funny!) her best friends will be singing her favorite songs, i'll be lighting it, and we'll have a good time.
i have been so busy, my show's opened and i haven't even told anybody about it! romeo and juliet opened on the 12th of april. this poster came out on the 10th, we were already 80% sold! so it's a hit as far as numbers go. i have just loved being on this show! i play friar laurence (NOT friar tuck, that's way off you guys!), but a great kick has come as a bonus to me by being the fight choreographer! here's a link to an article that came out about that.http://www.timeoutsingapore.com/performance/feature/interview-lim-yu-bengand awww hell, the rehearsal and performance pictures are better than me talking about it, so here's some of the fun and games we had along the way. enjoy!oh and yeah, i'm the "fall guy" tumbling in these shots!
had a blast filming this yesterday. here's a still from "east of Aden", or at least a trailer for the movie, which is being offered to investors everywhere to source funds to make the thing. i sure hope it happens! always loved this kind of action thriller.
thanks to militancy filmed entertainment, and director marcus lim, producer lim jen nee, DP lim teck siang and sfx makeup wyntrice lim for a great day. you guys rock! and before all of you out there start wondering if we're all related, no we're not! it's just that "lim" is the second most common surname in singapore after "tan". you know we just had a presidential election where all 4 candidates were named "tan"?
and now, i really need a shower....
here's to "east of aden" and let's make it happen!
salome opens tonight! (oh yeah i should mention i'm the lighting designer)
it's been great to be involved again in the singapore lyric opera's production of this fab piece. it's my 7th opera with them, and that's been an education in itself for me. i was delighted when director andrew sinclair asked me to work with him again (i lit la boheme for him 2 years ago), and it has been a long awaited pleasure to work again with my old friend of more than 20 years, the leading architect and set designer justin hill.
but the opera....
hey you know, i don't jack shit about this stuff, but it rocks. those of you who know me well know i've always been a bit of a repressed rocker. rock and classical (for me) are the only things musically i hear that really shake up the world with their passion and power. and to hear these guys do it, well it blows me away. janice watson is an opera star, and you can see why. like some other fantastic leading ladies i've had the pleasure to light, she is brave, commited, and so intelligent and nuanced in her portrayal you understand every damn word even if it's in german! heh heh yeah i'm still a plebe. but these experiences enrich me, and i hope those of you in singapore this next few days will get to see the show! we play till tuesday, and the link is below. ask me and i'll get you a discount!
haha the new show i'm working on is really funny! written by dick lee (the composer) it's a dark comedy set in a male beauty pageant, and it cracks me up! plus i get to play the sleazy organizer so it's even more fun haha! directed by jonathan lim (not the film maker) and with hilarious karen tan and judee tan, plus the broodingly handsome rodney oliviero, it's got something for everyone. oh, and of course since it's all happening in a male pageant, there's be pecs and abs galore (not mine this time thankfully)! so if you're in singapore 6th through 17th july, swing by! especially if there's a male ego (yours or someone else's) you have an opinion on, haha!
ok so this is not my gig, but my old buddy's, ART FAZIL. i'm just guesting with him on a few numbers, and we'll be doing one of my originals. ART has gotta be one of the best things to have come out of the singapore music scene. in the early 90s when i was (and still am) his rabid fan, he was like an urban prophet to me, a protest folk hero, with (to quote a famous lyric) "3 chords and the truth". well, the man's back from a 15-year stint in london, with the truth and a whole lot more chords!
it's a big time for us here. election day tomorrow, in the most hotly contested, angry and important election we've had for generations. guys who talk and sing about truths in our society are vital, and it's strange that stuff he sang about 19 years ago is now being played out and addressed in front of a whole nation. this is a small gig with a big heart. if you're in singapore may 27th, come listen to the rainbow child, all grown up.
ART FAZIL - songs of the rainbow child
esplanade late night series
may 27th 9.30pm at the recital studio
ok i just gotta say this. i was honoured to be present at the malay tv awards tonight in singapore, called pesta perdana. i was one of the judges for the acting category. and i was thrilled to see some of our finest tv actors win their dues. rafaat hamzah best actor, sharon ismail best actress, sani hussin best supporting actor, and his sister rosita hussin best supporting actress! it was really wonderful to see a tv industry that is unlike much of the rest of the industry in some ways. there was a lot of heart, a genuine love for what we do, and a damn good time doing it.
but in hindsight one moment in the night stood out for me. tonight a young man, already a very good actor, who won best newcomer when he was just 15, and was tonight nominated for best supporting actor at the age of 17, came up to me and said "teach me what i can do to be better".
in that one moment, i was humbled and overjoyed. hasif, tonight you taught me more than i can ever teach you. with this attitude, you will learn more in your lifetime than we older actors have time left to learn. thank you for teaching me.
hey hey! some of you were amazing and came to watch Animal Farm when we did it in HK last year. well, the show's going to tasmania next month! yep, i'll be hauling my skinny ass down under for a bit, playing napoleon again in george orwell's timeless story of power and political corruption. and once again, yes, that skinny ass is on the poster, as you can see.
so if any of you are in oz next month (ok i know taz is way the hell at one end of it, but come on, you can take a beautiful hiking holiday there while you're at it!) come see us! we'll be playing at the Theatre Royal in hobart from the 25th to the 29th of march. the festival is called "ten days on the island". if you are googling it, the link is:
so come on down under! do we have an oz chapter?
as some of you know, lighting design is one of my great loves. i usually design one big show a year, often opera, because it affords me the scale and spectacle to keep the design processes working really hard! otherwise my mind doesn't get enough exercise, haha!
so this year it's the fabulous french opera CARMEN. most of you know the passionate tale of the wilful gypsy girl and the lovesick soldier. it's gonna be a very different look from past operas i've lit, like TURANDOT
or MADAMA BUTTERFLY
CARMEN will have very minimal set, so the imagery will be carried largely by lighting and projection. i'm excited! it's a director i like working for, a company i know well, and brilliant singers from around the world.
so if you're in singapore 21st to 25th january, come see! it won't be your average night on the town, for sure!
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