Date：30 November - 3 December 2000
During the feudal periods a long time ago, women were barred from entering schools and receiving education. Engtay, a young girl is determined to gain higher education. She disguises herself as a man and travels to a large town to continue her studies. On the way to school, she meets Sampek, a poor but studious young lad. She falls for him almost immediately but is only treated as a “brother” by her beau. When Engtay finally discloses her real identity to the dim-witted Sampek, her love is reciprocated. Yet life is not a bed of roses, especially not so for the lovers who belong to two different social classes. Engtay’s father has arranged a marriage between Engtay and a rich landlord named Macun. On learning the news, the broken hearted Sampek falls ill and dies shortly, leaving behind Engtay who is devastated and helpless. On her wedding day before she is sent to Macun, she stops to pray before Sampek’s grave.
Suddenly, the tombstone breaks open and Engtay jumps into it without hesitation. The grave shuts up and when Macun orders the servants to excavate the grave, Engtay is nowhere to be found. And all that is left are two butterflies hovering about the grave with much grace and bliss…
Actually, I totally enjoyed the first 90 minutes of the play. The sharp rapport, humourous script and the generous sprinkling of Singlish terms and Chinese dialect, used with finesse and consideration, heightened my appetite for more … Overall, SAMPAK ENGTAY was a strong performance from a talented cast that amused and entertained with plenty of laughs. Forget about the issues of women's inequality or love everlasting. It is worth watching for the humour alone.
The most important aspect of an arts education for a child is its integration within culture itself. Culture sets forth the foundation on which a country is built upon: its direction, pathways and values. The education of arts and culture very much emphasizes the development of character.
Goh Lay Kuan | Co-Founder / Artistic Advisor