SRT’s Hand To God – a satanic puppet and more


Imagine combining the sock puppets of “Sesame Street” with the spine-chilling demonic possession in “The Exorcist” – that’s Hand To God for you. The play revolves around a teenager and his satanic puppet, with loss, man’s inner desires, and lots of raw human emotion at its core.

We had a chat with some of the cast, and found out why this is a play everyone should watch – besides the novelty of seeing a possessed puppet mess up lives on stage.


1. It’s Sesame Street meets The Exorcist


Behind the childish facade of Tyrone, the satanic puppet in question, lies malicious intentions. Seemingly possessing a life of its own, Tyrone blatantly flirts with others, spouts expletives, and later gives Jason (the owner) a taste of his personal hell – in the church basement no less. Think the no-nonsense, foul-mouthed personality of teddy bear Ted, but sock puppet version.

An Interview with Tyrone (The Sock Puppet?)
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An Interview with Tyrone (The Sock Puppet?)

Check out this exclusive interview with Tyrone for a true sense of what he’s like!

But Tyrone’s evil actions convey a deeper message – they’re actually a representation of Jason’s inner struggles with lust, dealing with the loss of his father, and pent-up anger towards his mother.


2. You’ll be able to relate to at least one character


Having been inspired by the playwright’s childhood experiences, every character in Hand to God expresses a different aspect of his growing up years. A repressed teenager, a lonely pastor, an adult who’s terrible at self-expression – these are some of the characters you’ll see in this play.

And it’s precisely this strong link to reality that leaves actress Ann Lek (who plays Jessica) empathising with one of the characters and that character’s life story, fraught by literal and metaphorical loss – despite never having been in her shoes.


3. It’ll encourage you to deal with your deepest emotions


Singaporeans don’t talk about taboo topics, like death, enough. But Hand to God changes this by presenting these uncomfortable issues right in our faces.

By showing us characters who grapple with loss and grief, the cast hopes the audience will empathise with their struggles and feel empowered to open up about uncomfortable topics like these.


4. It’s dark, but also really funny


srt hand to god

Straight from the mouth of lead actor Thomas: “you can only have true comedy with real darkness”. Hand to God’s an extremely dark comedy, but that’s also why it’s extremely funny – because the “ugliest truths are always the funniest”.

Case in point: some of the most hilarious comedians of our time battled extreme darkness, like the suicidal Robin Williams, and Jim Carrey, who fought depression.


5. The cast consists of a bunch of extremely talented individuals


Source: @singaporerepertorytheatre

You might find some of the cast familiar – former Nominated Member of Parliament Janice Koh and Tanglin/Code of Law actor Daniel Jenkins star in it.

Not to be overshadowed by these veteran theatre actors are the play’s other up-and-coming stars. Thomas’s been nominated for the M1-Straits Times Life Theatre Award, and The Finger Players’ apprentice Ann’s got some wicked puppetry experience under her belt. And having dabbled in acting, writing, AND directing, the versatile Gavin Yap is no less experienced.


Hand to God – laughter and darkness guaranteed


So if 80 minutes of side-splitting laughter, provocative dark comedy, and the occasional puppet sex sound exciting, Hand To God is the play for you.

And having watched Jason and his demonic sock puppet in action during rehearsals, I can vouch that by the end of this emotionally-charged 80min, you’ll be feeling intensely for each character in a way you never felt before.

Grab your tickets to Hand To God (R18) here!

When: 19 April 2017 to 6 May 2017 / 3PM and 8PM
Where: KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT, 20 Merbau Road, Singapore 239035

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