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Liao Zhai Rocks!

Can once in a lifetime happen twice?

The scholar Sang Xiao falls in love with the fox spirit Ying Ning, but is deceived by the water spirit, Feng San Niang. When Sang Xiao is poisoned and cast into the underworld, Ying Ning must brave the wrath of King Yama, the king of Hell, to rescue her true love and change their destiny.

Inspired by Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio, a collection of classic Chinese stories by Qing dynasty writer Pu Songling, Liao Zhai Rocks! tells a supernatural tale of forbidden love through the explosive force and gritty rawness of rock music.

Directed by The Theatre Practice’s Artistic Director Kuo Jian Hong and helmed by Joanna Dong (Sing! China), this epic rock musical redefined the musical theatre genre in Singapore with its unexpected fusion of classic Chinese stories and a blistering score by Mandopop luminaries Eric Ng and Xiaohan.

Liao Zhai Rocks! made its China debut in 2019 as part of the Shanghai Cultural Square’s Original Musical Festival.

Date: 31 March – 17 April 2016

Venue: Drama Centre Theatre

Director: Kuo Jian Hong, George Chan

Playwright: Wu Xi

Lyricist: Xiaohan

Composer: Eric Ng

Choreographer: George Chan

Arranger: Bang Wenfu

Music Director and Additional Arrangement: Julian Wong

Set Designer: Wong Chee Wai

Lighting Designer: Genevieve Peck

Sound designer: Shah Tahir

Hair Designer: Ashley Lim

Make up Designer: The Make Up Room

Costumer Designer: Saksit & Phisit, Tube Gallery Bangkok

Movement Coach: Bai Ying Wen

Speech Coaches: Ng Mun Poh, Jodi Chan, Liu Xiao Yi

Cast: Joanna Dong, Inred Liang, Sugie, Ethel Yap, Liu Xiaoyi, Darius Tan, Yeo Lyle, Gloria Ang Xiao Teng, Jodi Chan, Chang Ting Wei, Darren Guo, Dwayne Lau, Frances Lee, Windson Liong, Katherine Tang, Terence Tay, Amanda Tee, Benjamin Wong

The Heart and Soul of The Theatre Practice

It has been 6 years since we plunged into the world of Liao Zhai and rock music.
Back then, our creative vision was to draw from the rich narratives of the literary classic and juxtapose it with the ferocity of rock music. We believe that it is precisely their differences that will give rise to very interesting dynamics. Of course, this bold attempt not only posed a great challenge for the creative team, but for our audience as well.
Fortunately, amidst all the challenges and obstacles, we came through.
Perhaps, Liao Zhai Rocks! can be seen as a reflection of The Theatre Practice. Having accumulated 50 years of experience, we are honoured to have presented several landmark productions over the years. However, we never stop looking for opportunities to break new grounds and to try something different. We do not limit ourselves to a certain theatrical form or genre – be it mainstream or experimental, we engage them with the same enthusiasm and professionalism. We also welcome arts practitioners of different nationalities, language, culture and artistic styles because we believe in embracing our diversities and searching for common grounds. In fact, we learn and grow through our differences.

This is the heart and soul of The Theatre Practice.

Today, the many “newcomers” we worked with have already made their mark in the local theatre scene. And Chinese Musical has established itself as one of the mainstreams in Singapore. Over the years, we have gained valuable experience and expanded our production capabilities. We are ready to reexamine our past works to improve them further. Hence, Liao Zhai Rocks! is not merely a rerun. It is a reinvention. It also marks a new beginning for The Theatre Practice as it is our first production after our 50th anniversary.
As The Theatre Practice enters its 51st year, we will also be moving to a new building
after this production. Isn’t this a development for The Theatre Practice too?
The future is a tapestry of possibilities and uncertainties. However, we will continue to uphold the spirit of The Theatre Practice and strive on.
Thank you for your support and encouragement. Because of you, we know we are never alone on our artistic journey.
Thank you!

“Liao Zhai Rocks! is a spectacular production that hits the right notes and serves up ancient Chinese folklore as an entertaining extravaganza, palatable for all.”

– The Straits Times

“The ensemble is a force to be reckoned with. They brought the performance energy up and kept the environment alive in every scene they were in.”

– Popspoken