Foreign Bodies

M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2023
Birds Migrant Theatre
(organised and curated by TNS)
Esplanade Annexe Studio, Singapore

Wrapping up this year's M1 Singapore Fringe Festival with this tender and thought-provoking production by Birds Migrant Theatre, a group made up of migrant workers from Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippines. It unpacks the oft-maligned stereotype of a domestic helper being in a relationship with a construction worker, resulting in pregnancy. What are options that are available for a couple in such circumstances? Abortion? Loss of the right to work? Shame and scandal? Who are the real victims here?

Devised by the company and co-directed by theatre makers Haresh Sharma and Serena Ho, Foreign Bodies is a simple but nuanced story that seeks to humanise individuals who are often treated as mere accessories in our ruthless society. Do they not have a right to love, feel and be seen? Is a genuine human connection forged between two people in a foreign land something to be despised? 

We certainly need some educating and I can only hope that shows like this get seen by more Singaporean employers. This deserves so much more than its one day on stage. Kudos to all involved.

The Crystalwords score: 3/5


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