Singapore artistic creations take centre stage this August
Singapore artistic creations take centre stage this August with the restaging of musical Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress leading the pack
ove her or hate her, empress dowager Cixi, the last empress of China, continues to captivate audiences more than a century after her death. Her beguiling story is the subject of one of Singapore’s most successful musicals, Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress, which makes a return from August 8 to 27 to the Esplanade Theatre, where it was first staged in 2002. Wrapped in the political intrigue of China’s Forbidden City, the epic tale of dark secrets, whispered rumours, love, betrayal and power is told through the eyes of Kate Carl, an American artist who was commissioned to paint the empress’ portrait, taking audiences through the life and times of Cixi—from her rise to becoming empress, to the fall of the empire. Helmed by the original creative team comprising Dick Lee and Steven Dexter, who worked in collaboration with the late lyricist Stephen Clark, the epic musical co-presented by the Singapore Repertory Theatre is brought to life with stylised sets and stunning costumes. Singer-actress Kit Chan reprises her role as the empress, while the cast includes West End and Broadway star Earl Carpenter (Les Misérables), Broadway star Steffanie Leigh (Mary Poppins), as well as Singapore’s very own Sebastian Tan (Broadway Beng).
WOMAN IN POWER Singer-actress Kit Chan takes on the role of empress dowager Cixi in Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress