Ong Keng Sen says on his Facebook:
we finally got our permit yesterday for 5 EASY PIECES which i am grateful for although there are some complications.
unfortunately it is rated R18 for 18 years and above which means that the children will perform without their peers in the audience. this complication is the first time its happening for the company unfortunately. they have performed all over since May in Brussels with both children above 12, and adults in the audience.
this decision of MDA makes it hard as the tale is a cautionary story which affects children most. just like sex education, it is important for the children to understand the full context of what they can be exposed to.
in the production, we see the 7 ‘angelic’ children role playing all the different roles from parents, to the father of the murderer Marc Dutroux, to politicians to the policemen to of course the child.
Role playing as most of you know is the first step to healing with therapists. role playing allows us to move beyond your fears.
i was asked by a politician whether it was exploitative that children are performing such intimate stories for adults only. i said its only here in singapore, no where else have they encountered this.
Singaporeans have to ask why our censorship system leads to distortions like in this case the neoliberal consumption of these children's stories as the young are no longer allowed to experience what concerns them most. The strongest reason to do the work has been lobotomized.
(I'm personally not surprised by this news. I don't actually have great faith in the system to encourage work that interrogates taboos, especially surrounding those of children.)