by Amanda Chong
Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre, Singapore

Back in the theatre after nearly two months and what a zinger of an evening this was. Psychobitch, a one-woman show written by lawyer and poet Amanda Chong and presented by WILD RICE, is the tale of overachieving journalist Anya Samuel. Tasked with explaining her four emotional breakdowns to her tech CEO fiancé, she prepares an elaborate presentation to justify her actions and attempt to salvage the relationship. 

Chong's script is at once hilarious and heartbreaking, starting sitcom-like as the frenetic Anya seeks to analyse each milestone in her relationship and gradually growing darker as her scars begin to surface. Nothing is left uncovered, from toxic masculinity and racial microaggressions to detailed infographics about her menstrual cycle. Peeling back the complexities of gender, race, religion and family, it's a strident celebration of what it means to be a modern woman and achieve emotional fulfilment. 

The show is carried by a truly phenomenal performance by Sindhura Kalidas who keeps us rapt throughout the ninety minutes, playing a whole host of characters alongside Anya and beautifully conveying the complexities of a feminist who still wants to be seen and loved on her own terms. I particularly appreciated how this story was told through the lens of a Tamil Singaporean woman, offering a perspective not always seen on the stage. We get observations by a devout father offering pointed prayers across the table and garrulous grandmother who likens love to a gulab jamun. 

Director Pam Oei keeps the action tightly paced and crackling along furiously, giving us a rollercoaster production that will have one laugh out loud one minute and choke back tears the next. A sharp, sassy play that will definitely make one think twice before making a 'man-move'.

The Crystalwords score: 4/5


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