This musical on the Chinese zodiac will have you in stitches
The humorous musical The Amazing Celestial Race, staged by Wild Rice, is inspired by the origin story of the Chinese zodiac. (Image: Wild Rice Theatre)

This musical on the Chinese zodiac will have you in stitches

It may be the Year of the Ox, but actor-playwright Dwayne Lau wants to spotlight the cat in his new play based on the Chinese zodiac.

The Amazing Celestial Race is a Chinese New Year pantomime offering a fresh take on the origin story of the Chinese zodiac and the animals associated with the zodiac signs. The musical, which features original songs and puppetry, is on until 21 Mar. It is staged by Singapore theatre company Wild Rice at its home in Funan Mall.

Lau wanted to put on a play that would resonate with Singaporeans during this festive period and captivate both young and old. A musical based on the Chinese zodiac was an obvious choice for him, given the wide and enduring appeal of the topic. He adds: “I also realised that many people do not actually know the origins of the Chinese zodiac.”

He acknowledges that there are many different variations of the Chinese zodiac story, based largely on the myth about a race among animals, and he concedes that his play is not about presenting a definitive account. Instead, he hopes to offer audiences a light-hearted story that will deepen their appreciation for the Chinese zodiac. It is for this reason that the pantomime centres on the Cat, an oft-overlooked character in the myth, which offers Lau greater creative liberties.

More than 20 characters will appear in the play and they will be performed by five actors, including Lau. The play is therefore as much a test of speed and endurance for the characters, as the actors who play them. The other actors are Tia Guttensohn, Victoria Chen, Audrey Luo and Andrew Marko.

Lau says: “The audience can expect to be on the edge of their seats. Not only will they be watching a play, they will also feel as though they are witnessing a real sporting event, complete with live commentary throughout the entire race.”

Book your tickets to The Amazing Celestial Race here.

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