Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress

Jointly presented by Singapore Repertory Theatre and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
8 – 20 Aug 2017
Tue – Fri: 8pm
(except 9 Aug, Wed, 2pm)

Sat: 3pm & 8pm
Sun: 1.30pm & 6pm
Approximately 2hrs (including a 20min intermission)
Esplanade Theatre
Performed in English with Chinese surtitles.

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

Early Bird

15% savings for Cat 1 & Cat 2 only
[Valid till 9 Feb 2017]
[Applicable for 8–20 Aug shows only]

Family Package of 4

15% savings for Sat & Sun matinee shows
[Valid from 26 Jan 2017 onwards]
[Applicable for Cat 1 & Cat 2 only]

Watch with friends Packages

Plan a great evening at Forbidden City for friends, colleagues or family — and you will come as our guest. Special “Watch with Friends” packages available for groups of 5 and more for all shows.
[Applicable for Cat 1 & Cat 2 only]

Esplanade&Me Special

Black Card: 15% savings
White Card: 10% savings
[Valid from 10 Feb 2016 onwards]
[Applicable to Cat 1 & 2 only]
[Applicable for 8–20 Aug shows only]

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

“A huge success.”Opera Now

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 Cheryl Tan, Kit Chan and Sheila Francisco depicting different stages of her life.

To find out more about SRT, please visit

Things To Note

Roads around Esplanade may be closed due to the National Day Parade on 9 Aug 2017. Patrons are advised to take public transport or check for updates on road closures.

Ticketing: 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.