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Our first trip to Singapore, in 2000, turned out to be a whole bunch of firsts.


It was the first time we had ever crated a show up, taken it to an airport, and watched it fly off to the other side of the world.


A huge undertaking for a tiny company and we both learned tons.


A bit of context:-

Previous longest trip to a gig: 232 miles to Aberdeen.

Leeds to Singapore 6766 miles.

tent

goes East

In which we visit

Singapore

(twice)

Coach to London, flight to Charles De Gaulle Airport (which was like being inside a spaceship), short walk across a dark rainswept runway toward the largest plane either of us had seen. The plane was floodlit, fuel tankers attended, service vehicles drove back and forth and we got to walk up the steps to be greeted by the glamorous Air France crew and were directed through to the very back and sat next to the galley and the toilets. Loved it.

Charles De Gaulle Airport

Got to Singapore. We knew about the temperature and humidity but it was still a bit of a shock. We were met by a friendly young couple who drove us in a dinky little truck to the Act 3 International base.

Act 3 organised

the festival.

Jen got to stand in front of a poster with a picture of her on it for the first, and indeed the last, time.

We got to meet the rather fabulous Ruby Lim Yang.


It was Ruby who had invited us to Singapore.

We got to visit the venue.

The Singapore Art Museum.

We had arrived a week before the start of the festival in order to undertake a series of Press, T.V. and Radio interviews.


Another first for us.

Of course this gave us plenty of time to explore the many contrasting areas of Singapore.

Attracted by the clouds of incense coming out of this temple Jen went in to observe the people at prayer.


She came out after 15 minutes with tears in her eyes.

“Was it the incense?”


“No, it’s just that I’ve always wanted to experience things like this.”

During this week the penny slowly began to drop, this is actually a really rather significant event we are part of.


For example we were staying here at the Y.M.C.A. very nice, very pleasant. We were more than happy to be there.

Just before the festival began we were moved to here.


The Sheraton.


Sheraton were one of the festival sponsors and this was the festival hotel.

Every morning we took the elevator to the roof, had a swim, wrote letters and postcards then set off to work. Every night, last thing, repeat the process.

We went back to the venue to discover these preparations for the opening night. This really was a significant event. The first festival of its kind in the region and we were first up with a performance that night for the wife of The President and honored guests.

Apparently this was her first official public engagement and the media interest was huge.

Loads of security, military dress uniforms everywhere. Needless to say it was another first for us.

The best bit? After the Presidential party and guests entered the tent I got to look at the dozens of photographers and news crews trying to see what was happening inside, give them a wave and a wink and drop the door down. Moans from outside, much laughter inside.

How did it all go?

Absolutely splendid.

Show was a great success.


One minor problem, it was a freight issue about returning the show to the U.K. but it was resolved with one phone call between shows.


That dramatic incident is pictured here.

What an extraordinary introduction to international touring.

I took this photo in 2000.


We were invited back to perform at the 10th Anniversary festival.


I remembered the photo and we restaged it 10 years later.

This gives a hint of the remarkable development that Singapore experienced in that decade.

We recorded our 2000 trip with one of the first digital cameras.

10 years on and they had developed too.


Check out our walk to work during our second visit.

The venue this time was the “Living Room Space” in the Old Parliament building.

Singapore II

Just around the corner was a small cafe with the all important free WiFi.

There we would chat with some of the other performers.

But we also spent time around the back of the building with these gentlemen.


In the tiny space between the Old Parliament building and the New Parliament Complex they had made themselves an allotment.


They were a friendly, welcoming and hospitable bunch...

...and they were very proud of their produce.

Of course we continued to explore and visit new places.

As well as returning to familiar sites.

We checked out the food stalls.

Visited many cafes.

But we always ended up here at the Newton Circus Hawker Centre.

Our favourite place in Singapore.

The first time we performed here the show was flown out and flown back.


To fly it back to the U.K. this time would cost nearly £4,0000. So we decided to send it back by sea, cost: about 10 pence.


The journey would take over 5 weeks so we decided to stay on in the area and have what people refer to as a holiday.

At this very unassuming  terminal/container we boarded a coach and drove overnight through Malaysia to Kota Bharu.


We had a single day there where we did manage to explore this fantastic food market.

With luck a local taxi driver knew where we needed to be and drove us to a tiny port where we boarded this boat.

One very bumpy boat ride over the South China Sea later we arrived here.

Now we know there is nothing quite so boring as other peoples holiday snaps, and that’s what we are talking about here.

But we loved the beach, loved the sea, loved our little hut on stilts in the trees and we loved exploring the mysterious interior of the island.

After 10 days on the island we had a 2 day stay in Malacca where we enjoyed the food...

...and contemplated on how remarkable it is that our little calico tent has enabled us to have all these extraordinary experiences.

Finally, sorry, could not resist this. One last picture of the island.