Legend of the Southern Arch
“Under the sheltering sky everyone is your enemy”
60 years ago a secret manual was hidden by a cult under the Southern Arch. When the Arch reopens, warriors fight to retrieve it, as the one who does shall rule the realm of the martial arts.
The Theatre Practice presents a love letter to the wuxia genre, travelling back in time to ancient China to bring the mythical exploits of martial arts heroes to the stage. A political satire that explores the tensions between destruction and growth, unrest and stability, audiences are kept at the edge of their seats as weapons clash and actors fly across the stage (literally).
Legend of the Southern Arch is a dazzling epic that merges the frameworks of wuxia’s cinematic genre with theatre and combines classic Chinese text with explosive stage combat and stunt choreography in a thrilling tale about injustice, vengeance and rebellion.
Date: 27 March – 12 April 2015
Venue: Drama Centre
Director: Kuo Jian Hong
Playwright: Liu Xiaoyi
Assistant Director: Isabella Chiam
Fight Choreographer: Gordon Choy
Set Designer: Wong Chee Wai
Costume Designer: Moe Kassim
Lighting Designer: Dorothy Png
Sound Designer: Sandra Tay
Sound Design System: Shah Mohd Tahir
Musician and Arranger: August Lum
Hair and Head Gear Design: Ashley Lim
Props Designer and Production Manager: Chan Lee Lee
Video Edit: Sam Nai
Graphic Design: Jiang Liheng
Cast: Brandon Chan Kai Yi, Nelson Chia, Alvin Chiam, Jodi Chan, Marcus Chin, Goh Guat Kian, Hang Qian Chou, Hui Hsien Howe, Hung Chin Wah, Felix, Koh Jing Sen,Javelin Kwan, Li Xie, Ric Liu, Ng Johnny, Ng Mun Poh, Tay Kong Hui, Yap Wei Ren
What does the 50th anniversary of The Theatre Practice (Practice) have in common with the wuxia realm?
The past 50 years, Practice has been constant in using theatre as a mirror to society; reflecting concerns of the people. This sense of responsibility to society has always been inherent in the spirit of wuxia.
The past 50 years, Practice has always believed in the power of education, unceasingly nurturing, in the hopes of passing on the legacy of theatre. The same way martial arts should belong to the people; Art itself is the same.
The past 50 years, Practice has endured many a danger, all thanks to the help of benefactors who appeared in the nick of time. Likewise, such mysterious heroes are never lacking in the wuxia realm.
The past 50 years , Practice has had its high and lows, and, with the help and support of many a friend, survives to this very day. The same, loyal compatriots have always inhabited the wuxia realm.
This wuxia play, in short, epitomizes the journey that Practice has undertaken this past 50 years.
And this year, putting together the Legends of the Southern Arch has made me experience the passion and ardour of the theatre scene all the more.
Our actors, not having seen or read the story, in spite of not knowing what their role is, or once asked how much they are being paid for their efforts, have bravely jumped into this battle with one singular thought; to bring this story to life.
Our creative and production teams, with little manpower and great limitation, have built the foundations and tirelessly guarded the gates with one goal in mind; to produce a show of artistic merit.
This play brings together war veterans of long standing, fellow apprentices who have trained and grown together, passionately loyal old guards and agile young soldiers, hermits that retreat into the shadows and masters of great precision….so many heroes, from so many different walks of life, building the world of Legends of the Southern Arch one stroke at a time.
How many heroes do we need to create a play?
How many more, then, to sustain a theatre company for 50 years?
Having traversed this boundless realm for 50 years, TTP has most definitely had an exciting journey; sometimes free and hopeful, sometimes fraught with danger, but never once walking alone.
Thank you, each and every one of our heroes, for accompanying us on this road, supporting us every step of the way.
Thank you, for never once having left our side!
“The handsomely mounted play is an evocative treat for wuxia fans…”
– The Straits Times
“…Legends of the Southern Arch is a well-crafted and impressive homage to a beloved genre, a deft and ambitious production that deserves a wider audience.”
– The Business Times