Desmond Sim: Student Plays

Paperback; 244 pages
1 copy available at C42

Preview of Desmond Sim: Student Plays. Pages have been omitted in this book preview.


"The launch of a collection of short plays by Desmond Sim is an occasion for celebration. Not only because such a tome is clearly overdue, since Sim the Renaissance man had to steal time away from and juggle his multitude of pursuits – from writing poetry or screenplays and holding solo art exhibitions of his distinctive Peranakan paintings to conducting seminars in media and communication, among a host of other interests and specialisations – to collate his prolific output of plays into a representative corpus, but also on account of the indisputable fact that his short plays are much in demand by our secondary schools and junior colleges when they deliberate over the choice of a suitable dramatic text for an in-house arts festival or as their annual entry to the Singapore Youth Festival...


"Perhaps at this juncture, it is appropriate to introduce the fourth C in Sim's dramatic oeuvre: compassion. Incandescent in these short plays is an almost lyrical stress on compassion, which Sim repeatedly reminds us, requires so very little effort. Alter egos like Lim Huat Bee the nerd and Lam Hin Kong the jock can forge an enduring friendship over a cup of tau huay chwee. As Rosa tells Mike in MRT, "You can make the saddest woman in the world laugh with a piece of paper and a pool of urine". Maybe it is preferable, or indeed more judicious, as Sim has expressed in the prologue of another play, Drift (not in this collection), to be judged on the intent rather than the outcome of our actions since none of us is perfect. The enlightened soul recognises, like the reconciled pair in Perfecting Pratas, that perfection is not mandatory. After all, as succinctly summarised in one of the penultimate lines of The Chair, "it is the spirit... and not the thing that makes it special" – and this spirit aptly crystallises the lyrical compassion of Desmond Sim."

– Dr K. K. Seet 

(Source: Desmond Sim: Student Plays foreword)


Drunken Prawns
Perfecting Pratas
The Chair
Shrimps in Space
Teochew Porridge
The Durian Man and His Daughters

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