Silver Arts is back!

by | August 3, 2017

There is a diverse line-up of programmes that includes a Hokkien music concert, a Malay theatrical play, a ’60s English rock concert and a reprisal of two famous monologues by Kuo Pao Kun in Cantonese and Teochew.


Pest Infested will be at ‘Rocking Good Times’. (PHOTO CREDIT: MGO Films)

Seniors are in for a treat at the sixth edition of Silver Arts, Singapore’s only festival dedicated to the well-being of seniors happening from September 1 to 24. Organised by the National Arts Council (NAC), seniors can see more than 80 artists and arts groups presenting 38 programmes across 20 venues including the NLB Plaza, Victoria Theatre, Our Tampines Hub, SOTA and three public libraries across the island.

The good news also is that the line-up of shows, exhibitions, films and workshops is both accessible and affordable. Only six of the 38 programmes are ticketed with prices ranging from S$3 for films to S$12 for concerts and theatre productions.

So, what’s in store? This year’s Silver Arts’ programme line-up and themes have been curated to include quality shows and activities that will resonate with today’s seniors. Feedback from last year’s festival showed that music and films as well as programmes in dialect were highly appreciated. Content, which touched on intergenerational bonding, also connect well with both seniors and the younger generation.

Here’s a sneak peek of this year’s line-up:

The double bill: ‘No Parking on Odd Days’ in Cantonese and ‘The Coffin is Too Big For The Hole’ in Teochew.

• Dialect programmes which include a performance of Hokkien songs by renowned street opera artist, Oon Ah Chiam, in a concert, ‘Songs of Guidance’ directed by her son, Goh Boon Teck, chief artistic director of Toy Factory Productions; and well-known Chinese theatre group, Nine Years Theatre reprising theatre doyen, Kuo Pao Kun’s two most well-known monologues, ‘No Parking on Odd Days’ in Cantonese, and ‘The Coffin is Too Big For The Hole’ in Teochew.

• Music lovers shouldn’t miss the sounds of the swinging ’60s at ‘Rocking Good Times’, which will be hosted by celebrity radio personality, Brian Richmond. The one-day event will feature popular bands from the 1960s such as Pest Infested, The Trailers and The Straydogs.

• Cultural Medallion recipient, Nadiputra is the director and playwright for ‘Syair Biola’ (Songs from the Violin), an entertaining theatre production with witty dialogue performed by a mix of established and young actors in Malay, English and Mandarin. They will be accompanied by a live music ensemble that will perform nostalgic tunes from P Ramlee, Matt Monro, Harry Belafonte and Teresa Teng.

One of the Silver Films, ‘After Taste’. (PHOTO CREDIT: Rebecca Ng)

• Award-winning commercial film director, Yee Chang Kang and freelance director, Sufyan Sam’an will present two films commissioned specially for Silver Arts 2017. Each of the films deal either with friendships across time, memories or intergenerational bonding. These new commissions are among the Silver Films line-up of five short films and four feature films from Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, curated by The Filmic Eye.

These films include ‘After Taste’, a film which focuses on the humble art of making porridge, telling the story of Dennis, his Ah-Ma, and Ah Ping, a porridge seller who his family bought porridge from loyally for years. There is also ‘Happy to See You Too’ about two long-lost friends getting reacquainted after 50 years following a chance encounter at the neighbourhood clinic.

Chua Ai Liang, senior director, Engagement & Participation, NAC, said: “The programming this year reminds us that the arts inspire us, speak to our cultural heritage and can build ties across different communities. By offering shows of different languages and dialects across cultures, Silver Arts offers opportunities for Singaporeans to enjoy the arts together, fostering greater intergenerational understanding and a more caring community.”

‘Syair Biola’, a production involving Cultural Medallion recipient, Nadiputra, who is the director and playwright.

Over a hundred seniors from across Singapore also came together to participate in the four Community Arts Projects (CAP). The CAPs offered senior participants creative opportunities to learn a new skill or experience something new. Guided by professional artists, seniors learnt to play the harp; created virtual reality based on their experiences and memories; drew self-portraits through lines, images and shapes; and made art together with pre-schoolers through our local food culture. They will perform or showcase their works through exhibitions during Silver Arts at the NLB Plaza from September 7 to 24.

In addition, Singaporeans young and old can learn crafts and new skills, enjoy music performances and attend workshops in the slew of activities as part of the Arts on the Move line-up held at various locations, including three public libraries and Our Tampines Hub. These programmes are all free of charge and will take place from September 2 to 24.

For more details on the programmes, go to:


** Tickets for highlight shows – ‘Songs of Guidance’, ‘Syair Biola’, ‘Rocking Good Times’ and Double Bill: ‘No Parking on Odd Days’, and ‘The Coffin is Too Big For The Hole’ go on sale from August 4, 2017, ‘Open Homes’ from August 7, 2017, and are available through APACTix. Tickets for Silver Films will go on sale from August 17 2017 on Golden Village.





Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *