Spring-Summer Collection

I’m back from a whirling, too-short month away in cold, cold Europe!

If you’ve missed me in any shape or form, here is a roster of events that I’m part of/conducting in the coming warm months (rain? what rain?)


Potty-mouthed poets, lovelorn loners, desultory drag queens, it’s like an actual speakeasy in this sweaty cafe, and last I checked there are actual negronis at the bar. This cult spoken word series almost always packs the house, especially on its Valentine’s Day edition, featuring Singapore writers picking their teeth clean with their favourite love poems (often sweaty and erotic). This year I’ll be reading as Ashley Fifty, only Singapore’s most patriotic drag queen, alongside cuties like Cyril Wong, Samuel Lee, Ruth Tang, and Balli Kaur Jaswal. Entry is pay-as-you-like, get there early before it packs up. 8PM-11PM.

Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1411958108828774/


As part of my residency at Sing Lit Station, I’m running a theatre-watching workshop. I’m interested in discussing how it is the theatre makes meaning, and how we can sharpen our theatre-watching faculties to piece together full, complex readings of stage work. That said, this is going to be a relaxed, relatively informal workshop where we talk about the different meaning-making tools of the theatre, watch a show together, then respond to that show in a piece of writing we share (and discuss) with the group at the end. For this run of the workshop, we are watching the much-anticipated new staging of Haresh Sharma’s Those Who Can’t, Teach, with the subsidised $31.80 ticket factored into the $81.80 workshop fee. The workshop takes place over three evenings, 16, 17 (show), and 21 March.

For more information, here’s the workshop sign-up page: http://www.singlitstation.com/shop/joeltan


I’ve written the lyrics to this musical, a dark romp through the Tropicana, one of the most notorious and celebrated cabaret clubs of 60s Singapore. You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a Beauty World ripoff, but it’s really not. Beyond the razzle-dazzle is a loving portrait of Singapore at its freest, most radical, and creative. Of course, we also see its decline. Haresh Sharma has written the book, Julian Wong the music, in a production directed by Beatrice Chia-Richmond. Tickets work on an “the earlier you buy, the cheaper” basis, so, um, the earlier the better.

SISTIC Page: http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/ctropi0417

4. 19 May-4 Jun: TANGO

This is a play I’ve written that teases out a range of complexities in Singapore’s ongoing fight over sexual freedom and family values, based on some actual events in the family life of Mark and Ed Ko-Waite. Kenneth and Liam reluctantly come to Singapore with their 12-year old son, Jayden, to care for Kenneth’s ailing dad, Richard. An unpleasant encounter at a restaurant sets off a chain of events that puts the family at the centre of an unprecedented, super-ferocious national controversy. This is Pangdemonium’s first Singapore commission, also the first time they’re working with new writing, so it’s gonna be a pretty interesting process and production.

Info: http://pangdemonium.com/productions/tango

Tickets are not yet available on SISTIC, the “sold-out” notice on the company’s page refers to the Season Ticket, not the individual shows.


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