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Goh Lay Kuan & Kuo Pao Kun

February 6, 2013

 TW-Flyer-GLK 1

Event: “Goh Lay Kuan & Kuo Pao Kun” by Theatreworks
Run: 10-11 Jan 2013 ((4th run out of 5)
Venue: National Museum of Singapore Exhibition Gallery 2, Basement
Conceived & Directed by Ong Keng Sen
Cast: Karen Tan & Lim Kay Tong

Character Shines Through

In a play that tells the life and relationship between two pioneering artists in theatre and dance, I had initially thought it would be more a display of the love story between the couple. It was not quite like that but there was the undercurrent of an unbreakable bond that supported and complemented each other.

A two-person cast interweaved with an interview-style session with Goh Lay Kuan and dramatised readings and analogies by Kuo Pao Kun, what came through was the depth of character of the couple. As much as it was meant to be a glimpse of Kuo Pao Kun through Goh Lay Kuan’s eyes, it was also a revelation of Goh Lay Kuan’s steadfast and honest character. The Kuo Pao Kun portrayed was the philosophical calmer half, often giving wise reflections and analogies that have deep meaning of the treatment of life, a stronghold for support and control. Goh, in contrast, a feisty figure, but it was for her passion and justice. Despite her fiery exterior, she has a nurturing and persevering spirit. It seems that much less is known of Goh Lay Kuan than of Kuo Pao Kun, at least to me, and this was an exposure to me.

I found the interplay of scenes between the two characters an insight to the complementary and supportive relationship the couple had, and a testament to their character and contribution to the industry. It also got me looking at some of KPK’s plays a little differently, which I wondered why I never before.

I think this production gives a good perspective of steadfast love and passion for what one believes in, and the era of holding on to truth for which was not forsaken; the struggles one faced in preserving freedom of expression.

The last run is from 21-22 Feb 2013 and tickets can be bought at

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