My review of Tan Tarn How’s Six Plays – the text which I was busy devouring in June while recuperating from my short stint in the Weapon X Project – is now up on the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore (QLRS).
Six of the Best
Compilation revives veteran playwright’s greatest hits
This collection brings together six of Tan Tarn How’s best works thus far, written and produced over a period of 11 years (1992 – 2003). Prior to this, The Lady of Soul and Her Ultimate ‘S’ Machine (“Soul“) was published individually in 1993, and Undercover and Home were published in play collections that featured various local playwrights. The publication of these plays in one volume are, hence, important in providing readers and scholars of Singapore literature with a holistic overview of Tan’s concerns as well as showcasing the diversity of topics he writes on, while demonstrating Tan’s dexterity as a playwright when tackling a range of subjects.
Thematically, most of Tan’s concerns, as with the majority of P65 Singaporean writers, are with the socio-political environment and machinations of the Singapore state – an ostensibly natural reflection of and response towards the environment that P65 Singaporean writers have been bred in.