Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress

Jointly presented by Singapore Repertory Theatre and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
8 – 27 Aug 2017
Tue – Fri: 8pm
(except 9 Aug, Wed, 2pm)

Sat: 3pm & 8pm
Sun: 1.30pm & 6pm
Cast list announced! forbidden-city-cast-list.pdf | 5.78 mb
Approximately 2hrs (including a 20min intermission)
Esplanade Theatre
Performed in English with Chinese surtitles.
This event is over

Preview (8–10 Aug 2017)
Standard: $48, $68, $78, $108
VIP: $118
Restricted View: $28

Tue–Thu, Evening / Sat, Matinee /
Sun, Matinee & Evening

Standard: $58, $78, $98, $118
VIP: $128
Restricted View: $38

Fri & Sat, Evening
Standard: $68, $88, $108, $128
VIP: $138
Restricted View: $38

Students, NSFs and Seniors

15% savings for Cat 1 – 4 tickets
[Applicable for Tue & Wed, 8pm and Sunday shows]

Save up to $70 with the Family Package of 4

15% savings for Sat & Sun matinee shows
[Applicable for Cat 1 – 4 tickets]

Save up to $128 with the WATCH WITH FRIENDS package!

Simply purchase 5 tickets in a single transaction and receive one complimentary ticket.
[Applicable for Cat 1 – 4 tickets]

Forbidden City & Fireworks! National Day Special!

15% savings for all tickets for 9 Aug, 2pm show.

Esplanade&Me Special

Black Card: 15% savings
White Card: 10% savings
[Applicable for Cat 1 - 4]

Mother’s Day Special!

Receive a *P+ Phyto Laser and Radiance Light treatment from NOVU Medical Aesthetic Clinic for each WATCH WITH FRIENDS or FAMILY PACKAGE purchased from 11 – 20 May.

* While stocks last. Terms & conditions apply.

Mother’s Day Special Terms & Conditions:

  • This promotion is valid with the purchase of a FAMILY PACKAGE and a WATCH WITH FRIENDS PACKAGE from 12 – 20 May 2017
  • The packages are applicable for Cat 1 & 2 tickets only
  • A FAMILY PACKAGE is applicable for Saturday and Sunday matinee shows only
  • Redemption is applicable at all NOVU outlets at
  • Redemption is valid until 27 August 2017
  • Not applicable with other promotions, offers, discount cards or vouchers
  • This privilege cannot be exchanged for cash
  • NOVU reserves the right to change the terms and conditions without prior notice
  • A valid Forbidden City: Portrait of An Empress ticket stub must be presented to enjoy this promotion
  • The Esplanade Co Ltd reserves the right to amend the terms and conditions of this promotion at any time and is subject to change without notice
More details +

“Utterly exuberant and entertaining.”The Business Times

Forbidden City measures up to the standards of a mainstream musical. It is well-produced and offers remarkable moments of visual splendour with a gracefully minimalist (relatively speaking) set.”The Straits Times

Singapore Repertory Theatre and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay invite you to join us for the restaging of the most successful original musical ever to be produced in Singapore — Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress. Following three sold-out runs and over 100,000 tickets sold, this epic musical promises to be the cultural event of the year.

The musical stars Kit Chan as the Empress Dowager Cixi, with Cheryl Tan as the young imperial concubine, Yehenara, and features music by Cultural Medallion winner, Dick Lee. The cast will also include West End and Broadway star Earl Carpenter (Les Misérables) and Broadway star Steffanie Leigh (Mary Poppins) as well as Singapore's very own Sebastian Tan (Broadway Beng).

Two of the greatest icons of China's ancient history come to life before your eyes in a spectacular musical of epic proportions. Come step into the cloaked world of the Forbidden City and the legendary Empress Dowager Cixi. You'll be mesmerised by this soulful tale of dark secrets, whispered rumours, love, betrayal and power. Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress explodes on stage with stunning sets, costumes and the ever-haunting question of the truth.

What really happened in the Forbidden City over a century ago? Who was the real Empress Dowager? The Dragon Lady of myth? Or a misunderstood victim of circumstance?

Experience Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress…then you decide.

Kit Chan

Music by
Dick Lee

Book by
Stephen Clark
Dick Lee

Lyrics by
Stephen Clark

Idea developed by
Stephen Clark
Dick Lee
Steven Dexter

The role of The Empress Dowager Cixi will be played by Kit Chan and Sheila Francisco depicting different stages of her life. Cheryl Tan will play the young imperial concubine, Yehenara.

To find out more about SRT, please visit

Things To Note

Admission for ages 6 and above, unless otherwise stated.

Ticketing: Prices exclude ticketing agent’s booking fees. Find out more about buying tickets or read our FAQs

General Advisory

For information about late seating, house rules, photography and more, please refer to our general advisory.