Flipside 2023

26 May – 4 Jun 2023

A playful festival of circus, comedy, physical theatre and puppetry.

Producer’s message

It’s coming to that time of year again when Flipside rambunctiously takes over Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay for 10 days of circus, comedy, physical theatre and puppetry. From 26 May to 4 Jun 2023, this festival will draw you into its fold of delight and good humour. For the first time since the pandemic, the festival presents a bumper crop of international artists from seven countries, performing alongside artists from Singapore.


This year puppetry takes centre stage with two theatre productions that debunk the idea that this art form is ‘just for kids’. Chimpanzee (USA) and Famous Puppet Death Scenes (Canada) are made for adults and youths. Both works imbue inanimate objects with such convincing humanity in very different ways. When puppetry is so skilled and clever, we cannot help but suspend our disbelief. Puppets, being objects, offer some emotional distance, but when masterfully conceptualised and manipulated, we can see so much of ourselves in them.


Puppets appear outdoors too in the form of roving Seagulls (Australia). Often seen as a nuisance, these lovable, larger-than-life scavengers will win your hearts even as they interrupt your conversation or try to steal your food. As they roam the Esplanade Waterfront, you might see them as invaders of our spaces. But perhaps we invaded their natural habitats first, leaving them to adapt for survival.


We see the impact of urbanisation in the way we play as well. In Circus Park (Taiwan), circus meets makeshift playground. A group of acrobats will improvise games with everyday objects and invite you to re-imagine play that transcends age and rigid functionality. Forget your electronic devices for a while and jump right into an interactive performance.


Flipside also celebrates the wonderfully imaginative world of clowning, physical comedy and street arts. Be inspired by the creative absurdity of street artists in My Dream (Korea), Circus Olympics (Korea) and Bakeke (France), as they find the most complicated ways to do the simplest of tasks. In Control Freak (Israel), we meet a quirky character who is bent on controlling his audiences through his many self-made, wearable gadgets. He invites them onto his stage to be part of his hilarious, self-orchestrated show.


These artists show us that sometimes the most enjoyable journey between points A and B is the most convoluted one, but it is also a journey of self-discovery that reveals the many shades of being human.


Flipside continues to be a key platform for Singapore’s circus and aerial arts community. Following the success of the annual Aerial Open Stage showcase, we launch Circus Open Stage this year to feature ground circus practitioners performing short routines.


There is so much more you can experience at Flipside, from music with humour and improv comedy, to workshops and craft activities. Our poster image for Flipside this year depicts a whimsical world of floating islands, each unique and fantastical in its own way. While there is a topsy-turviness to each island—a FLIPSIDE—they each hold their own crazy logic and harmony. In the spirit of this whimsical world, we invite you once again to reconnect and re-fire your imagination with us.


Shireen Abdullah
The Esplanade Co Ltd


About the festival

Flipside celebrates playfulness and creativity through accessible encounters with circus, puppetry, physical theatre, visual theatre and comedy. Expect performances and curated experiences presented in surprising and thought-provoking ways.

Taking place over 10 days and coinciding with the school holidays, the festival offers an exciting range of both free and ticketed programmes for families and curious adults—featuring a mix of Singapore, regional and international artists.


Become a member

Three membership cards depicting each membership tier, Discover, White and Black.

Great arts experiences begin with Esplanade&Me. Join this membership to enjoy ticket specials on shows at Esplanade, early bird specials, promotions at Esplanade Mall, unlimited access to Offstage and more.

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