Esplanade Presents


Mari Kita Main Wayang

An Esplanade Commission & Production
Written by Felix Chia
Adapted by Zulfadli Rashid
Directed by Alvin Tan

17 Nov 2023, Fri, 8pm

18 Nov 2023, Sat, 2.30pm & 8pm

19 Nov 2023, Sun, 2.30pm & 8pm


(Intermission: None)

Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade

This event is over.

Photo Credit: Crispian Chan

Hijinks and humour abound in Mari Kita Main Wayang (Let’s Stage A Play)!


This play-within-a-play follows a group of Peranakans who come together to stage Empat Bini, an ambitious script that is set within the illustrious walls of a royal court. However, all is not as it seems—as the play unfolds, a gripping narrative of power gone awry among the players comes to light.


Presented in Baba Melayu and peppered with familiar expressions, Mari Kita Main Wayang is a love letter to the rich Peranakan cultural heritage deeply rooted in Singapore. It pays homage to the under-appreciated art form of Peranakan theatre, while highlighting the significance of having this heritage represented on stage. Witness the revival of this tradition and be transported to a bygone era where the past meets the present.


First staged in 1994, this adaptation of Felix Chia’s script is comedic, unique and utterly captivating—look forward to witty banter, dramatic storytelling and masterful performances by the cast!


Production credits
Director: Alvin Tan
Assistant Director: Aidli ‘Alin’ Mosbit
Playwright (Original script): Felix Chia
Playwright (Transcreation/Adaptation): Zulfadli Rashid


Cast (alphabetical order)
Baba GT Lye
Cynthia Lee
Frederick Soh
Karen Tan
Kimberly Chan
Loong Seng Onn
Masturah Oli
Munah Bagharib


Musicians (alphabetical order)
Ahmad Shahruddin Bin Safari
Azrin Abdullah
Hafiz Jamat
Ismahairie Putra Ishak
Julian Wong
Riduan Zalani (Band Leader)



There will be post-show talks on 18 & 19 Nov.

Admission Age:
6 and above.
Language: English, Baba Malay
Surtitle Language: English
Things to Note:
Accessibility: We provide services and facilities for patrons with access needs. Concessions for persons with disabilities (PWDs) are available for selected shows. Read our accessibility guide.
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Artist Information

Felix Chia

Felix Chia was brought up in a traditional Baba household. After a career in journalism, he turned to books, producing social history (The Babas, Ala Sayang!), memoirs (Reminiscences) and short stories (The Lady in Red and Her Companions). He was commissioned by the Singapore Festival of Arts to write Pileh Menantu, a play in Baba patois, in 1984. He followed this with another popular play, Laki Tua Bini Muda.

Zulfadli Rashid

Zulfadli Rashid is a playwright known for his thought-provoking and powerful works that explore the complexities of the human experience. His works tackle a wide spectrum of topics, from personal struggles to societal issues, marked by their emotional intensity and unflinching honesty. Written in the Malay and English languages, his body of work continues to grow and evolve.


More recently, Zulfadli has adapted and transcreated numerous plays that have been performed in Singapore and beyond.


In addition to his work as a playwright, Zulfadli is also a dedicated educator and mentor, working with young minds to help them develop their craft and find their own creative voices.

Alvin Tan

Alvin Tan has directed three Peranakan works for the theatre: Mari Kita Main Wayang (August 1994), Bedrooms (Dec 2009) and The Matriarchs (Nov 2021). He is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Necessary Stage (TNS) and a leading proponent of devising theatre in Singapore, having directed over 80 plays. He was the Co-Artistic Director of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival from 2005 to 2015, and then the Artistic Director from 2021 to 2022. Alvin has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, the Young Artist Award (1998) and the Cultural Medallion (2014). In 2010, Alvin was conferred the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. The following year, he was awarded Best Director at The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards for Model Citizens by The Necessary Stage. He was also the Artistic Director of Peer Pleasure, an annual youth theatre festival by ArtsWok Collaborative (2015–2017).

Date & Time

17 Nov 2023, Fri


Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade

18 Nov 2023, Sat


Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade
There will be a post-show talk.


Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade
There will be a post-show talk.

19 Nov 2023, Sun


Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade
There will be a post-show talk.


Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade
There will be a post-show talk.
Tickets & Prices

Students, NSFs, Seniors & PWDs

Cat 1 $60 $48
Cat 2 $45 -

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  • Concession Ticket

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All Secondary Schools, Junior Colleges/ Centralised Institute & ITEs may use the Tote Board Arts Grant to subsidise up to 50% of the programme cost. 


For more details, please contact Esplanade Box Office at 6828 8389 or email


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