Interview with Goh Boon Teck

Thinking about our ideal life leads us ponder the value of human existence.”

Boon Teck, why do dreams matter?

We have many dreams in our lives. Which dreams are true? Which dreams are imaginary? Are there dreams we should not even think about? These are important questions we should ask ourselves.

Thinking about our ideal life lead us to ponder the value of human existence – the effort and sacrifice one makes in pursuit of one’s dream, and what one ultimately achieves in the end. 


Was staging The Dream of a Southern Bough a dream for you?

I have been developing the concept of A Dream Under the Southern Bough for several years now. For people around the world, this work will be filled with new meaning. No one in the world has seen this work as a stage play. Audiences will have seen it performed either as an opera or a Kun opera.

I hope to present A Dream Under the Southern Bough on the international stage, as we’ve reinterpreted it in a very novel style. I believe it will be a completely different Chinese theatre performance.


What was the audience’s response after the first part, Beginning, in SIFA 2018?

After the performance, the audience offered us many comments. We were able to understand what they care about and what they don’t care about. Many of the comments were related to how Singaporean actors are able to speak Mandarin so well! To me, that isn’t a hard thing to do. As long as we work at it, we are able to produce very professional Chinese plays.

What happens to Chun Yu Fen in Reverie?

We will see Chun Yu Fen entering the Ant Kingdom, which is also his ideal world. In this dream world, he encounters many beautiful things, so he will indulge and enjoy everything, living a happy life. This is the story of the second part, Reverie. The character of Chun Yu Fen allows us to reflect: are we able to live our ideal life in reality?

What will audiences expect to see Reverie?

For the creation of this trilogy, we are putting in a hundred and ten percent. Reverie is especially challenging as we have 22 chapters to produce. Each chapter must be exciting, and must pique the audience’s interest to know what happens next.

This requires tremendous creativity and skill, but we are happy to take on the challenge. In addition to focus, hard work, as well as deliberating over the script, we need to do deep research to produce a work with the greatest artistic tension.

What does SIFA mean to you as an artist?

I believe that if Singaporeans were free to write the scripts we want, to present the productions we want, our work can be on par with artists on an international level. Local artists need such a platform to deepen our work, make our thoughts more playful, and allow our creations to have more gradation. An arts festival is a driving force that allows us to fully bloom with a higher and more exciting artistic ability.

Goh Boon Teck is the director of A Dream of A Southern Bough – Reverie. He is the Chief Artistic Director of Singapore’s leading bilingual theatre company, Toy Factory. Goh’s works are soulful explorations of human issues treated with contemporary sensitivity.

Don’t miss A Dream Under the Southern Bough: Reverie by Toy Factory Productions Ltd taking place from 31 May - 2 Jun, Fri - Sun. Click here for more. 

不要错过TOY肥料厂的《南柯一梦》三部曲之第二部曲《如梦》!演出定从5月31日至6月2日(星期五至星期日)。更多详情请点击阅读


文德,梦为何重要?

我们人生里有很多梦。哪一种梦是真的,哪一种梦是虚有的,哪一种梦是你不应该想的?这都是我们需要在生活中不断探索的问题。每个人与自己理想生活的对话,会使得我们去探讨人存在的价值。在追求理想的过程中,需要付出什么,需要牺牲什么,那最终又会得到什么。

能够创作《南柯一梦》也是你个人的梦想吗?

我们创作《南柯一梦》的整个构思跟创造过程已经好多年了。大家看的《南柯一梦》不是戏曲,就是昆曲,也没看过它是以话剧来演出, 所以这是全世界没看过的呈现方式。我希望我们的《南柯一梦》可以呈现在一个国际舞台上。它的风貌是很新颖的,而不是大家熟悉的昆曲版本。

2018年“入梦”表演之后,观众给了你什么评语?

观众在看完的时候给了我们很多的评语。我们得听,我们也感觉了到他们觉得他们在乎什么不在乎的是什么。很多的评语都来自说,哇!新加坡演员能够把华语说得这么好。其实我也觉得那也不是一个难的问题,只要我们去做,我们是能够把华语演出做得很专业。

在“如梦”里,淳于棼的故事会如何发展?

我们会看到淳于棼进入蚂蚁王国。这是他理想的世界。在这个理想世界里,他看到了很多很炫丽,很美好的东西。然后他会沉迷于其中,欢乐于其中,过着一个幸福美满的生活。这就是第二部分“如梦”的整个故事。

通过淳于棼,我们领悟到,人类的现实生活是无法活出自己梦想中的样子。

在“如梦”里,观众能够期待什么?

这个三部曲的创作我们要拼尽全力,全身心投入去做。第二部分也是相当艰巨的。我们有二十二场戏要处理,每场戏必须扣人心弦,让你很迫切地想要知道下一场的故事是什么。我们需要展开想象,尽可能的把每场戏都演绎的十分精彩。

面对这样的挑战,我们要不断的推敲,挖掘剧本中的含义。深入地研究,不断地创作,最终把艺术所带来的力量与震撼通过演出传递出去。

作为艺术家,新加坡国际艺术节对你有什么意义?

我们应该给新加坡艺术工作者多一点机会写他们要写的剧本,做他们要做的演出。我觉得新加坡人的创作可以是天马行空的。我们也不会比外国人来的逊色。

艺术家都需要新加坡国际艺术这样的平台让你的作品深化,让你的思想更戏剧化,让你的创作更有层次。然后也许是这样的一个推动力在一个艺术节里面,让我们能够彻彻底底地绽放的在一个比它高,比较精彩的一个艺术能力把,给展现出来。

Watch the full interview with the artist.

观看专访吴文德的完整视频。