- About the Playwright
A young Malay-Muslim woman describes a day in her life – starting with a visit to the prison in the morning to see her cousin, and ending at the hospital to be with her mother who is undergoing chemotherapy. She shares her most immediate concerns, such as trying to settle a divorce with her husband through the Syariah laws in Singapore.
Best Of, although specific in its issues – grappling with divorce matters in Singapore's Muslim community – broaches more universal themes. It appeals to anyone regardless of identity markers such as race, class, gender and faith.•
From the kindness of strangers to the staleness of familiarity, the protagonist reveals, through her encounters in this one day, the worst of and the best of, the people around us.
"There's the kind of storytelling that lights up fireworks and milks this communal moment for all its worth. Best of, The Necessary Stage's enjoyable one-woman show featuring Siti Khalijah Zainal, skips all of that and simply tells."
—Mayo Martin, TODAY ONLINE
"...it was the simplicity of the play that allowed its authenticity to come through, and it proves that they don't need elaborate or extravagant arrangements to touch an audience."
—Angela Low. Popspoken
"...deeply watchable and tosses up a great deal of food for thought -- from funny to bitingly incisive observations on how the Malay community is perceived, to tender recollection of various religious traditions and the constant struggle to cope with loss."
—Corrie Tan, The Strait Times Life!
"Siti Khalijah Zainal delivers a stunning solo performance on the life of a young Malay woman in the island replubic."
—Looi Sue-Chern, The New Strait Times
Haresh Sharma is Resident Playwright of The Necessary Stage and co-Artistic Director of the annual M1 Singapore Fringe Festival. To date, he has written about 100 plays. One of these, Off Centre, was selected by the Ministry of Education as a Literature text for ‘N’ and ‘O’ Levels, and republished by The Necessary Stage in 2006. In 2008, Interlogue: Studies in Singapore Literature, Vol. 6, was published by Ethos Books. Written by Prof David Birch and edited by A/P Kirpal Singh, it presents an extensive investigation of Haresh’s work over the past 20 years. A collection of Haresh’s plays was also translated into Mandarin and published as <<哈里斯·沙玛剧作选>> by Global Publishing. In 2010, Epigram Books published Those Who Can’t, Teach.
Haresh was awarded Best Original Script for Fundamentally Happy, Good People and Gemuk Girls during the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Life! Theatre Awards respectively. In 2010, the abovementioned plays were published by The Necessary Stage in the Trilogy collection. Most recently, two collections of short plays by Haresh, Shorts 1 and Shorts 2, were published as well. In 2011, Haresh became the first non-American to be awarded the prestigious Goldberg Master Playwright by New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 2014, Haresh was awarded the prestigious S.E.A. Write Award.
Cover Type: Soft Cover
Page Count: 37
Year Published: 2014