Who can resist a good murder-mystery? Throw in eight irresistible women and we can almost see the queue at the box office. 8 Women is Sing'theatre's latest production to be staged this month. Originally written by French playwright and director Robert Thomas, the comédie policière (comedy thriller) was turned into a movie-musical which became a silver screen hit starring famous French film stars Catherine Deneuve, Fanny Ardant and Emmanuelle Béart.
Set in the countryside of 1950s France, the play revolves around a gaggle of, well, eight women — mothers, sisters and maids who congregate in a mansion a few days before Christmas. The shocking murder of the man of the house sends the women into a panic and the blame game inevitably ensues. Motive after motive is unravelled, buried secrets come to light, mayhem descends upon them all. And thus begins a fantastically-executed examination of what lies beneath the manicured façade of the Female: Seduction, anger, love, hatred, jealousy, resentment, despair, naiveté and tenderness.
Adapted for the Singaporean audience by award-winning director Samantha Scott-Blackhall, and featuring a multi-talented cast including the who's-who of the local theatre scene — Tan Kheng Hua, Daisy Irani, Neo Swee Lin and Julie Abueva — 8 Women promises to be a delightful exploration of the female psyche and all its complexities.
The play will be presented in line with International Women's Day on March 8. And of course it's deliberate. These auspicious double eights together are a fitting celebration of what it means to be a woman: Alluring complexity on the one hand, and charming ignorance on the other. Women will feel a familiar sense of déjà vu and laugh at themselves, while men will validate their suspicions.
“The play captured my attention from the get go. It's got murder, it's got mystery and it's got eight women, all suspects, trapped in a house with nowhere to run! With a cast of some of Singapore's best talents, I'm very excited to showcase the French film to our audiences,” says director Scott-Blackhall.
A non-profit theatre company, Sing'theatre was set up in 2006 and produces shows in English that draw upon French cultural heritage with Singapore-based artists.
8 Women; March 29 to April 7, 2013; School of the Arts (SOTA) Drama Theatre. Tickets from $50, available through SISTIC.