Why Singlish is important to this Singapore playwright

She wrote her first staged play when she was 21.

Playwright Faith Ng, who is one of Checkpoint Theatre’s associate artists, wrote her first play, Wo(men), when she was just 21 and still a theatre studies undergraduate at the National University of Singapore. She tells us three things about herself.

Secondary school wasn’t all that great for me.
“I was in the Normal (Academic) stream in secondary school, and I kept diaries all through my teenage years. When I reread them, I realise that it was a really dark time for me – and this was what inspired my latest play, Normal.”

My plays are as Singaporean as they get.
“They are an extension of what I cannot stop thinking about. I hope they reflect an authentic Singaporean experience through the dialogue, which I pepper with dialect and Singlish. I try very hard to mimic how Singaporeans speak – it’s never proper English; that’s not what I hear every day.”

Playwrights are not weird!
“You grow up with the myth that writers are supposed to be mysterious and enigmatic, but I’m really not like that! Honestly, if you behave that way, no one will want to be around you.”

PHOTOGRAPHY: WINSTON CHUANG, STYLING: EVON CHNG, HAIR: AARON NG/DECORUM, MAKEUP: BENEDICT CHOO, USING M.A.C. Blazer from Oasis/Robinson, shirt & shorts from Greyhound/Robinsons.

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