Tan Kheng Hua
Kheng Hua is a well-respected, award-winning player in the Singapore English language arts scene.
Since 1985, she has been intensely involved in Singaporean television, stage and film productions, of all genres – musical, drama, comedy, devised/improvisational works as well as physical theatre and dance. She also has extensive experience in Corporate Affairs and Marketing, having worked with retailers CK Tang Ltd and FJ Benjamin Pte Ltd.
As an actress, Kheng Hua has been part of such landmark Singaporean theatre productions as Beauty World (Lulu), Descendants of the Admiral Eunuch (Ensemble) and Lao Jiu (First Sister/Ensemble) for TheatreWorks. More recently, she garnered rave reviews for her performances in Dangerous Liaisons by Toy Factory (Marquis du Merteuil); Blithe Spirit (Elvira) and Animal Farm (Clover) for W!ld Rice; The Blue Room (Model/Au Pair) for Fiction Farm; Autumn Tomyam (Marge) and Pillow Talk (DBS Life! Theatre Award, Best Actress) for Action Theatre. She played the lead in a ground-breaking trilogy of plays for W!ld Rice entitled Invitation To Treat – The Eleanor Wong Trilogy and won the Art Nation Best Actress Award for 2003.
On television, she is a household name as Margaret on Mediacorp Channel 5’s hit sitcom Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd (Asian Television Award, Best Comedic Performance by an Actress). In 2002, she complemented this comedic role with a successful dramatic turn in Mediacorp Channel 5’s wartime epic A War Diary (Highly Commended, Best Drama Performance by an Actress, Asian Television Award).
Other roles include leading role on AlterAsians: Iris’ Rice Bowl and feature film appearances in 12 Storeys; Mee Pok Man and Forever Fever. She has just finished filming her first lead in a full-length feature, a US/Singaporean independent film collaboration Cages directed by Graham Streeter. Cages was selected for the Pusan International Film Festival 2006 and was the closing film for the Prague International Film Festival. It also premiered on the Hallmark Channel as its first Asian movie. She also filmed a made-for-television feature The New Home, which was broadcast on Mediacorp Channel 5 in 2004.
Kheng Hua’s first major foray into Mandarin television, playing Lan Ying in Beautiful Connection, a highly acclaimed and top rating series starring Huang Biren, Aileen Tan and Xie Shao Guang. (Nominated, Best Supporting Actress, Star Awards).
As a host, Kheng has hosted Babytalk – a parenting series, and a popular talk-radio programme with Glenn Ong on 98.7FM called The Talk Show with Kheng and Glenn for teenagers. More recently, Kheng has hosted two seasons of Food Chain – which was Mediacorp 5’s highest rated infotainment series in 2003 and produced by The Moving Visuals Co.
For her contributions to the local arts scene, she has been accorded the JCCI Award, was part of a photographic exhibition entitled 21 Remarkable Women for AWARE, was one of the 12 invited guest writers for a coffee table book on Singapore entitled Feel Singapore and is listed in the book People at The Peak – The Who’s Who of Singapore within the Singapore Theatre chapter.
The Revenge of the Dim Sum Dollies at the Esplanade Theatre marked Kheng Hua’s foray as Producer of a theatre production. It was a great box-office and critical success, playing to nearly 20 000 Singaporeans. She is also produced Dim Sum Dollies! Singapore’s Most Wanted, staged once again at the Esplanade Theatre in August 2005. This show was seen by close to 24 000 Singaporeans and was voted Audience’s Favourite Production by local entertainment magazine I-S.
Always one to try new things, Kheng conceptualized and produced her first television serial, 9 Lives, for Mediacorp TV 12 in 2005. She also produced Little Shop of Horrors starring Dim Sum Dollies with Dream Academy, and following critical acclaim for 9 Lives, has created and is executive producer of another drama for Mediacorp TV 12, directed by leading Singaporean film-maker Kelvin Tong with Boku Films, entitled Do No Disturb. This ground –breaking improvised TV drama has garnered rave reviews from the local press.
Kheng Hua is currently working on a new improvised stage musical for teens 15-19 years old, to be directed by her husband, Lim Yu-Beng and produced under their company, Spare Room Pte Ltd.