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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

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