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Press Gang

by Tan Tarn How
Singapore Theatre Festival 2018 (W!LD RICE)
Singapore Airlines Theatre
LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore

In a country where the media is forced to play a role in nation-building and in furthering the goals of the ruling party, it's no wonder that the press constantly battle pragmatism against journalistic integrity. Press Gang, the opening show of W!LD RICE's Singapore Theatre Festival 2018, sees veteran playwright Tan Tarn How making a highly anticipated comeback, drawing upon his years as a journalist in The Straits Times to expose the inner workings of local journalism.

Singapore has one of the lowest rates of press freedom in the world and the increasing public apathy about the state of print media and rise of alternative news sites make Press Gang a play that is both urgent and important. Unfortunately, the powerful themes simmering in the text are let down by poor characterisation, haphazard direction and a meandering plot.

The characters - all dutifull…

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