Theatre, Festival

The Mysterious Lai Teck

Organised by: Arts House Limited
Performed by: Ho Tzu Nyen
  • Date:
    17 - 19 May 2019
  • Time:
    Fri & Sat: 8:00pm
    Sun: 5:00pm & 8:00pm
  • Duration:
    Approximately 1h, no intermission
  • Venue:
    School Of The Arts (SOTA) Drama Theatre
    School Of The Arts (SOTA) Drama TheatreSchool Of The Arts (SOTA) Drama Theatre
  • Language:
    Performed in Mandarin with English surtitles


In The Mysterious Lai Teck, acclaimed Singaporean artist Ho Tzu Nyen leads you into the labyrinthine underworld of spies, in this portrait of one of Southeast Asia's most shadowy historical figures.
Who is Lai Teck?

History remembers him as the leader of the Malayan Communist Party from 1939 to 1947, and a triple agent for the French, British and Japanese secret police. Yet the real man is an enigma. Rumoured to have over 30 pseudonyms, his story is full of gaps and contradictions culled from the accounts of fellow spies and traitors, and various authors of histories.

Blending fact and fictional speculation, Singapore-born visual artist Ho recreates the charged atmosphere of Lai Teck's times in an inventive staging, featuring an animatronic puppet, visual projections and theatrical drapes.

Offering a window into an embattled period of Southeast Asian history, The Mysterious Lai Teck is an extended reflection emerging from Ho's long-term project, The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia.

Blending fiction and espionage, agency and treachery, The Mysterious Lai Teck is a thrilling snapshot of the shifting face of Southeast Asia in the Age of Treason, and of a man caught between the ruthless forces of history.






Concept, Direction, Text, Edit: Ho Tzu Nyen
Performer, Voice, Translation: Tay Kong Hui
Research Consultant: Marc Opper
Light Design, Set, Technical Manager: Andy Lim
Sound Design: Jeffrey Yue
Musician: Black to Comm
Animatronics: Creature NFX Workshop
Digital Visual Effects & CG: Graham Lamb
Production Stage Manager: Mirabel Neo
Administrative Producer: Yap Seok Hui
Producers: Tzu + ARTFACTORY

Commissioned by: Singapore International Festival of Arts (Singapore)

International Summerfestival Kampnagel (Hamburg)
National Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art (Korea)
Arts Centre Melbourne and Asia TOPA (Melbourne)
Holland Festival (Amsterdam)
Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels)
TPAM – Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama (Japan)
Red Brick Art Museum (Beijing)