Sisters & Senang: The Island Plays

Sisters & Senang The Island Plays

By Jean Tay

Published by Epigram Books

Plays and Poetry



The Sisters Islands and Pulau Senang: two satellite islands off the coast of Singapore, small but rich in story. This volume brings together two remarkable plays by Jean Tay, Sisters and Senang, which explore these two islands through turbulent events in the 1960s.

Sisters: The Untold Stories of the Sisters Islands blends a real-life murder with creation myth. The play alternates between two stories: one of Mina and Lina, the two sisters upon which the myth of the Sisters Islands is supposedly based; and the other of the shocking case in 1965 of Jenny Cheok, killed by her boyfriend Sunny Ang, which also involved her half-sister Irene.

Senang covers the prison riots on Pulau Senang in 1963. The island was used for a bold experiment, led by Superintendent Daniel Dutton, an Irishman who believed he could reform the inmates through labour, and abolished the use of arms to police them. This is one man’s attempt to create a utopian penal colony, which tragically led to his violent end.


Reader Reviews:

“Jean Tay is one of the most gifted playwrights I have come across in years.” 
—Gaurav Kripalani, Artistic Director, Singapore Repertory Theatre

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