A month-long trilogy of plays performed at the Jubilee Hall, Raffles Hotel in April 2003. They were penned by acclaimed playwright and academic lawyer Eleanor Wong and produced by W!LD RICE, a professional theatre company founded by well-regarded Artistic Director Ivan Heng. Despite the stellar credentials of the artists involved in the production of the plays, it failed to secure any sponsorship, probably due to its lesbian theme. Despite this, it enjoyed an overwhelming response with 3 additional performance being added.
The three plays of Invitation To treat spanned 20 years in the life of their protagonist, Ellen Toh, following her journey towards self-discovery and self-actualisation. She was a smart, ambitious and hardworking lesbian lawyer who married her best friend in a 'marriage of convenience' that presented her with the best of both worlds– a socially respectable position, and a husband who accepted her sexual orientation.
The plays swept the audience along a unique and enjoyable journey, an Odyssey of insights which recounted the story of one member of an invisible minority who struggled with her sexuality and, over time, grew increasingly confident and self-aware, with more than a little help from her friends. Heng hoped that the LGBT community would relate to the plays which included 'insider' jokes and references that could only be fully appreciated by the gay community, with scripts that were not dumbed down to accommodate a straight audience. Owing to its lesbian theme, the producers experienced great difficulty in securing a corporate sponsor.
examined personal choices and living in transition while dreaming of, hoping for, and wanting, the 'perfect' future.
explored the corridors of the past, and unravelled the bonds of family and faith in the face of disease and death.
(world-premiered from 9 to 26 April 2003) laid bare the struggle for commitment, exploded the meaning of family, love and friendship, and the right of a minority to live and love honestly and fearlessly.
This article was written by Roy Tan.