SIFA 2021 – Singapore International Festival Of Arts


We Singaporeans do love our fair share of theatre shows and museum dates, no matter if we truly understand what’s going on or if we just want to feel that much more #cultured

If you’re looking for new ways to spice up your art adventures, it might be time to add the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) 2021 to your “to visit” list. With all sorts of shows – both virtual and IRL – available from 14th – 30th May 2021, you’re sure to be spoilt for choice.


1. Three Sisters <<三姐妹>> – watch a reimagined play


Three Sisters
Image credit: Arts House Limited

If you grew up as a theatre kid, you may have heard about Anton Chekhov’s 1901 play titled “Three Sisters”. For SIFA 2021, Nine Years Theatre (NYT) and the SITI company are coming together to collaborate on a reimagined, Asian take on this classic play – Three Sisters <<三姐妹>>.

Detailing the story of – yup, you guessed it – three sisters, this play will explore the characters’ relationships through the many shocking events that unfold. We shan’t spoil it for you, but there’s a big play on how people from the same family who have much in common could lead wildly differing fates.

Performed through the memory of the youngest sister, Irina, the audience will be able to experience this timeless story through a fresh perspective. A great watch to enjoy among family, to feel all warm and fuzzy from the magic of kinship.

The play will be in English and Mandarin, a drastic change from the original Russian language. Not to worry though, there will also be subtitles so that everyone can enjoy this performance.

Date: 20th-22nd May 2021 (Live Show) | 5th-12th June 2021 (Video On Demand)
Time: 8PM-10PM
Venue: 100 Victoria Street, #03-01 National Library Building, Singapore 188064
Price: $58* | $68

*Limited concessions available for students, NSFs and seniors.
Limited student tickets at $10.

Find out more about Three Sisters <<三姐妹>>.


2. The Year Of No Return – a hybrid performance on the climate crisis


The Year Of No Return
Image credit: The Necessary Stage

Whether you’re a climate crisis skeptic or an avid environmentalist, The Year Of No Return will still blow your mind. With a mix of video presentations and live performances, this hybrid play is a collaboration between artists from all over the world and explores our seemingly futile attempts to halt climate change. 

Performed in a refreshing mash-up of different languages including English, Japanese, Malay, and Tagalog, this play will also have subtitles so you can still immerse yourself in the experience even if you aren’t a polyglot.

Date: 21st-22nd May 2021 (Live Show) | 5th-12th June 2021 (Video On Demand)
Time: Fri 8PM | Sat 2PM,8PM
Venue: 9 Empress Place, Victoria Theatre,Singapore 179556
Price: $58* | $68 (Live Show)

*Limited concessions available for students, NSFs and seniors.
Limited student tickets at $10.

Find out more about The Year Of No Return.


3. OIWA – The Ghost of Yotsuya – retelling a timeless Japanese ghost story


OIWA The Ghost Of Yotsuya
Image credit: Arts House Limited

Watching a horror movie is all fun and games – until you reach the credits and realise it was all based on a true story. Not for the faint-hearted, OIWA – The Ghost of Yotsuya is the retelling of a famous Japanese story based on historical Edo period figures. This tragedy even has a spooky urban legend surrounding it, so you know the play is worth watching and not just fiction.

Using a mix of puppets inspired from traditional Japanese performance techniques – Bunraku and Ningyo Buri, as well as real-life actors, this haunting story is brought to life on the stage. With themes of betrayal and revenge, all horror drama lovers will be in for a treat. This experience unlocks a whole new world from just hiding behind your popcorn at the cinema!

Date: 28th-30th May 2021 (Live Show) | 5th-12th June 2021 (Video On Demand)
Time: 8PM-10PM
Venue: Victoria Theatre, 9 Empress Place, Singapore 179556
Price: $58* | $68 (Live Show)

*Limited concessions available for students, NSFs and seniors.
Limited student tickets at $10.

Find out more about OIWA – The Ghost of Yotsuya here.


4. A Dream Under The Southern Bough: Existence《南柯一梦》之辱梦 – explore the blurred lines between dreams and reality


A Dream Under The Southern Bough
The previous instalment in this trilogy,A Dream Under The Southern Bough: Reverie”
Image credit: Arts House Limited

Written over four centuries ago during the Ming Dynasty, A Dream Under The Southern Bough: Existence by Toy Factory Productions Ltd is the third and final modern play in the trilogy. With blurred lines between the main character, Chen Yu Fen’s imagination and reality, the audience can expect an extravagant stage with all sorts of high-tech special effects and props.

Even if you didn’t manage to catch the previous two plays in this trilogy, A Dream Under The Southern Bough: Existence《南柯一梦》之辱梦 can still be enjoyed without any prior knowledge of the story. This play will be held in its original language,Mandarin, but there will also be English subtitles for non-Chinese viewers and jiak kan tang folks to follow along.

Date: 29th-30th May 2021 (Live Show) | 5th-12th June 2021 (Video On Demand)
Time: Sat 2PM, 8PM | Sun 2PM
Venue: 100 Victoria Street, #03-01 National Library Building, Singapore 188064
Price: $48 | $58* | $68 (Live Show)

*Limited concessions available for students, NSFs and seniors.
Limited student tickets at $10.

Find out more about A Dream Under The Southern Bough: Existence《南柯一梦》之辱梦.


5. The Journey – online magic show set in a majestic Scotland landscape


The Journey
Image credit: Arts House Limited

If you’re a sucker for magic shows and uncrackable illusions, The Journey will be right up your alley. This interactive show is held by famous illusionist Scott Silven, and brings you on a journey through a seaside village in Scotland. With mysteries and secrets to unravel, this show/performance will keep you on the very edge of your seat for the entire 50 minutes.

Plus, this show will be held entirely online so you can even participate right from the comfort of your very own bed through the interactive audience response channel. With only 30 tickets per show, do book your tickets fast and get ready for a night of mind-bending illusions.

Date: 18th-23rd and 25th-30th May 2021
Time: 7PM
Venue: Online
Price: $40

Find out more about The Journey.


6. As Far As Isolation Goes – draw on yourself in a performance piece about refugees


As Far As Isolation Goes
Image credit: Arts House Limited

It isn’t common for us to find refugees in Singapore, and most of us continue to remain rather clueless about what really goes on in foreign waters. As Far As Isolation Goes is a collaboration between artists Tania El Khoury and Basel Zaraa, and highlights the struggles that refugees face today.

Using the senses of touch and hearing, audiences will be able to truly immerse themselves in this one-on-one performance. Before you log in online, you will need to have a black marker, a paintbrush, a glass of water, and tissues on hand so you can expect a fun drawing session where your arm is the canvas.

Date: 21st-23rd and 28th-30th May 2021
Time: 5.30PM | 5.55PM | 6.20PM | 6.45PM | 7.10PM | 8PM | 8.25PM | 8.50PM | 9.15PM | 9.35PM
Venue: Online
Price: $20

Find out more about As Far As Isolation Goes.


Immerse yourself in art & theatre showcases at SIFA 2021


With a good mix of mind-boggling virtual shows and captivating IRL performances at the Singapore International Festival of Arts happening from 14th – 30th May 2021, audiences will be in for a treat whether they’re the artsy-fartsy type or completely new to the scene. 

SIFA 2021 Festival Line-up | Singapore International Festival of Arts
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SIFA 2021 Festival Line-up | Singapore International Festival of Arts

Apart from the shows listed above, there are also a whole slew of programmes to look forward to, including many international film screenings like Light of a Burning Moth and concerts like Healing Rhapsody.

Not only are these performances a great activity idea for couples and friend groups alike, but the deeper meaning behind them might also shed some new light on your outlook on life.

Find out more about SIFA 2021 here


This post was brought to you by Arts House Limited.
Cover image credits (L-R): Tuckys Photography, Arts House Limited