Public Enemy by W!ld Rice

“The strongest man in the world is he who stands alone,” Dr Thomas Chee, the character played by Ivan Heng, uttered in utter desperation, in a capitalist society that favours the rich and powerful, and truth can sometimes be a bitter pill to swallow, even if it's the only remedy for the ailing public health of the general public.


Ironically, the saviour becomes the public enemy when truth gets denied for the convenience of the economy at large. Two journalists who were really spin doctors and close friends of Dr Chee, and the owner of the publishing firm - a wolf in sheep's clothing, sang to a different tune played to suit the popular vote when push comes to shove to preserve their own livelihood and self-interests. Throughout the scenes, the wife and children of Dr Chee, stood by him unwaveringly in spirit, even though his wife, being a pragmatist, was of a different mind at first.



The set and costumes are minimalist in design, unlike many previous elaborately decorated W!ld Rice productions. It's clear that the emphasis is not on the fluff that surrounds the cold, hard truth which commands the attention of the audience.


Director, Glen Goei, strikes a chord with the convincing portrayal of the characters. Treated to a rousing performance by the cast who fully immersed themselves in their roles, particularly, the main roles: Dr Thomas Chee, and Lim Kay Siu who plays the Machiavellian politician and brother of Dr Chee, the audience is captivated.


In a theatrical twist, members of the cast spill into the seating area, in a dramatic setting for a lecture turned into a fiasco by the tyranny of the gang in cahoots to silence the protagonist and coerce him into submission. Hence, the audience is led to think for themselves and question the notions of concensus and the rule of the majority in a democratically runned nation - aptly suited for the 1st 'theme' of the ImagiNATION season - “Democracy”.




Profound as it may seem, the only barrier that stands between the truth and the public is the smoke-screen of deceit, cleverly and subtlely installed by law, rules and regulations, manipulated and stipulated. Herd mentality is dangerous, undoubtedly, when the governing authority is unquestionably right.


Energising and thought-provoking, “Public Enemy” is a refreshing take on the parrallel universe we live in. A strange sense of familarity dawns upon the audience, in deja vu to certain situations we might have witnessed or experienced in the microcosm of our daily lives when sometimes, truth is obliterated and we wished we had the unabating righteousness and courage of the protagonist.


If this is just the appetiser for the wonderful 7-course feast of W!ld Rice's 7 plays for the year, we can't wait to enjoy the rest of the seasonal menu, specially concocted in celebration of W!ld Rice's 15th anniversary and in conjunction with SG50 - double the happiness.




Tickets are available from SISTIC, please click here.


Ticket Prices : Previews 9 & 10 April 8pm $45 - $70

Tue, Wed, Thu 8pm and Sat & Sun 3pm $50 - $75

Fri & Sat 8pm $55 - $80

(Prices exclude $4 SISTIC handling fee)


Special 50% discount for performances on 14 April & 15 April for students and senior citizens.


Corporate & Group: For bookings of 20 or more tickets, please contact Ross Toh at 6292 2695 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Photo credits: W!LD RICE, by Albert Lim K.S.


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