The Dim Sum Dollies are back!
After their riotous and witty presentation of the History of Singapore Part 2 last year, Dim Sum Dollies – The History of Singapore Part 1 is now showing at the Esplanade Theatres.
Yes, the part 2 came before the part 1. That’s the Dim Sum Dollies for you. They do what they want and speak, sing and perform what they want on stage.
My wife Rachel and I thoroughly enjoyed Part 1 and enjoyed Part 2 even more when we caught the opening night last Friday.
We think all Singaporeans should go watch it!
Here are ten reasons why:
They present a different side of the Singapore history
Sick of the sanitised and whitewashed version of Singapore’s history being reiterated again and again for SG50? The Dim Sum Dollies are not afraid to poke fun of controversial and taboo topics in Singapore like the CPF, Amos Yee and a certain powerful lady who is the head of a large investment company.
Meet all the historical characters you need to know in modern history
From Mahatma Gandhi to Mao Zedong to Alexander the Great, all of them will be making appearances. You can get to know all the important people in history you need to know in just one show!
The painful Japanese Occupation is mostly skipped
I don’t know about you, but I really do not like the “When Singapore was Syonanto (昭南島)” part of our history. All the rapes, murders and tortures get me all depressed. I know it’s an important part of our history, but I am already familiar with the retelling and would rather skip through it. Dim Sum Dollies did just that with a cheery, short segment:
The costumes are awesome
It is one garish set of costume to another from start till end, leaving you bedazzled with all the glitters and colours.
This is a signature of any Dim Sum Dollies production. Just check out this set of costume for the local version of the “Spice Girls”:
The show costs S$1.4 million to produce
Singaporeans love to see numbers and talk about finances.
This latest Dim Sum Dollies production costed S$1.4 million and involved 10 actors, 9 musicians and about 40 people behind it all.
Hossan Leong is hilarious as Sang Nila Utama
Hossan Leong plays Sang Nila Utama, a Srivijayan prince from Palembang, who legendarily founded the Kingdom of Singapura in 1299. We read about him in our local history textbook, but his character mostly draws a blank.
You have to see how Leong does it. Every time he comes back on stage as Utama, you can hear roaring laughter. Good job!
History can be fun if it is reimagined by the Dim Sum Dollies
The show is obviously not textbook accurate and neither do they strive to be so. There lies the beauty. Most of the heavy part of the recorded history of Singapore were covered in Part 2. This leaves lots of room for creative interpretation in Part 1.
After all, how much do we know about Sang Ni Utama or even Sir Stamford Raffles in recorded history?
As such, the writers and producers let their imaginations go free and wild, injecting nuggets of innuendos and references to modern Singapore society which the audience can identify with. A winning formula I must say.
Lots of catchy tunes
Many are rewritten from familiar songs like Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball and Spice Girls’ Wannabe, among others.
Not only are they catchy, the lyrics are very funny too!
Check out the trailer:
Even my expat friend enjoyed it
Despite not getting some of the local languages used, my Danish friend, Mathilde, who had only been in Singapore for 15 months, was still able to enjoy the show. Read her review on Asia 361.
The Straits Times gave them thumbs up
If you do not trust me, maybe you will trust the review of the Straits Times? The latest Dim Sum Dollies production is described as “a frothy and fun lesson in Singapore’s history”.
Go catch it before it ends it’s run!
Dim Sum Dollies: The History of Singapore Part 1 will run at The Esplanade Theatre until June 21. Tickets from S$48 to S$148 are available at SISTIC.