招: When The Cold Wind Blows
I'm a long, long way from home
And I miss my family so
In the early morning march
When the cold wind blows
It has been ten years since Xavier Ong left National Service. And yet, he is still haunted by a recurring dream in which he is interrogated by a man in army uniform. Each time, Xavier has to revisit his days on Pulau Tekong. Like the first time he timidly touched his newly-shaved head. Or the first time he started using coarse language. And the time he was promoted to Platoon Sergeant and became the kind of person he swore he would never turn into.
Written by Cut Kafka playwright Neo Hai Bin, 招: When The Cold Wind Blows is a bold, unflinching look at one of Singapore's most emblematic institutions: its military service. It asks whether training for war endows us with a capacity for violence – or merely uncovers something that has always been hiding within us.
招: When The Cold Wind Blows was developed in residence at Centre 42 in 2016.
Written by Neo Hai Bin
Directed by Thong Pei Qin
Starring Joshua Lim / Joel Low
A man visits the lorongs of Geylang for the first time with his friend. It isn't actually his first time, as he's been there before for the famous food. But, on this particular night, they're there for the women. His friend tells him about the G.F.E., or 'Girl Friend Experience': when a sex worker "will look into your eyes, just like your girlfriend". On a local online forum, women are reviewed and rated according to 'face', 'service' and the 'G.F.E.' that they provide.
The friend tells the man not to be 'Mr Emo Unenthusiastic'. But the man is distracted, recalling a succession of women who have been a part of his life. His first love back in junior college. A married woman. A one-night stand. He thinks of the almost unbearable intimacies that he once shared with them. And how he can admit to rage or numbness but not the pain of heartbreak.
Playwright Chong Woon Yong poses an intriguing question in this tender and truthful play: is the man really looking for a G.F.E... or is he trying to recover from one?
Written by Chong Woon Yong
Directed by Ric Liu
Starring Chong Woon Yong