Tan Tarn How: Six Plays

Tan Tarn How Six Plays

By Tan Tarn How

Published by Epigram Books

Plays and Poetry



Let Tan Tarn How, one of Singapore’s most controversial playwrights, take you on a journey that confronts the social and political issues facing Singaporeans today. With his signature wit and unflinching candour, he puts the spotlight on issues of life and death, sex and love, government, national identity and racism. This collection contains six award-winning plays and an introduction by Dr. K. K. Seet.


On The Lady of Soul and Her Ultimate “S” Machine
“…the most important thing about Tan Tarn How’s play is its marking of a watershed in Singapore theatre: it is arguably the first English play to present the country critically and artistically, without hiding behind coy allegory.”
—Hannah Pandian, The Straits Times

Selected by The Straits Times as a Classic Singapore Play in 2014

On Undercover
“The play, a farce about the goings-on in an internal security department, takes Singapore theatre into uncharted territory.”
—Koh Buck Song, The Straits Times

On Six of the Best
Six of the Best, in dealing with such an explosive topic, will hopefully get under the skin to the heart of racism in Singapore.”
—Phua Mei Pin, The Straits Times

On The First Emperor’s Last Days
“With The First Emperor’s Last Days, playwright Tan Tarn How continues to stake out a unique place for himself in Singapore theatre, as a creator of topical, political plays.”
—Cherian George, The Straits Times

On Machine
“Tan’s sensitivity and genius is obvious throughout: the dialogue is light but loaded. In the exchanges, there are just the right doses of surprise to compliment, of feigned ignorance to encourage and of coyness to intrigue, as both the man and woman manoeuvre expertly towards their ultimate goal—the bed, after which the relationship ceases to be.”
—Suhaila Sulaiman, The Straits Times

More Titles by Tan Tarn How

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