From Malaysian cacao beans to a satirical comedy about Tiong Bahru, explore the best from around the region this week
Chocolate factory fantasy
Inspired by Roald Dahl’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mr. Bucket has launched its open concept retail space along 23 Sin Ming Road, near Upper Thomson.
Specialising in housemade chocolate bon bons and treats, Mr. Bucket uses cacao beans sourced only within Asia. These range from family-run cacao farms in Melaka to a cacao plantation in the foothills of the Anamalai Hills in India.
Mr. Bucket’s chocolate bon bons come in refreshingly local flavours like Salted Egg Yolk, Double Soy Caramel and Mala Mild Spicy (from $19 for a box of six). According to the people behind the store, these flavours “are inspired by everyday conversations and the community around us and the myriad of flavours and ingredients found around the region".
Also available are three types of chocolate bars, made on-site and behind a viewing glass. The 80% Dark Anaimalai Single Estate, 64% Dark Panchor Single Estate and 45% Milk Sungai Ruan Single Estate ($7 each) are named after the plantations that produce each cacao variety.
Visit the brand new retail space Wednesdays through Sundays at 23 Sin Ming Rd, #01-15 or shop online at www.mrbucket.com.sg.
Return of #mydurian
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
Live performances have returned to the Esplanade’s indoor venues, with measures to make them safe for everyone. These include increased frequency of cleaning and sanitisation of common areas, washrooms, contact surfaces and countertops. Seating capacity will also be limited according to government advisories.
Kalaa Utsavam — Indian Festival of Arts
Nov 20 to 29
The 19th edition of Kalaa Utsavam showcases a festival line-up that includes newly recorded works, archival screenings and live streamed performances. With certain live performances resuming from Nov 1, Esplanade is welcoming audiences with live shows during the Indian Festival of Arts.
“Amidst an unexpected and sweeping pandemic, we hold on to hope. Here is where I truly believe the arts have the magnitude to build resilience and vigour in difficult times, connect mankind closer to the beauty of nature and reaffirm the positivity of life in all its permutations,” says producer Rajeswari Ramachandran.
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The key visual this year is inspired by the concept of the Tree of Life, which symbolises new beginnings, positive energy, good health, wisdom and a bright future, she adds.
Festival highlights include three digital premieres: Amara – Dancing Stories of Banteay Srei by Apsaras Arts; Pallavi through Abstractions by Chowk Productions and Pathey Nimidam – 10-minute Tamil plays in collaboration with Ravindran Drama Group.
Nov 1 to Dec 31
Top local stars will join hands with a slew of upcoming actors to present a new spin on Singaporean musical theatre classics. Lights Up! features songs from the Non-Essential Chan-Tan Songbook, drawing from productions such as theatre company Wild Rice’s first-ever pantomime CINDEREL-LAH! to Dream Academy’s cult classic Dim Sum Dollies and SING DOLLAR!
Directed by Jo Tan with musical direction by Joel Nah, this musical revue is created against the backdrop of the biggest disruption to the Singapore arts scene to date. This take on Singapore theatre stalwarts Selena Tan and Elaine Chan’s musical theatre creations is guaranteed to leave you in stitches.
Following its online premiere on Nov 1, the production is available on Esplanade’s YouTube and Facebook pages till Dec 31. Viewers may also make a contribution to Esplanade’s ‘Arts for Change’ fundraiser at www.giving.sg/esplanade/artsforchange
Singapore International Film Festival
Nov 26 to Dec 6
The 31st Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) has announced its full festival line-up featuring a hybrid event with screenings in theatres and online.
Running from Nov 26 to Dec 6, this year’s SGIFF celebrates resilience and hope. Featuring over 70 films from 49 countries, the films speak through stories that map our universal search for identity, community, existence and desire for change.
The 31st SGIFF will be hosted across multiple venues like Shaw Lido, Filmgarde Bugis+, Oldham Theatre, The Projector and virtual platform The Projector Plus.
SGIFF will present 22 Singapore films at the Festival, including Tiong Bahru Social Club (2020) — the debut feature by Singaporean filmmaker Tan Bee Thiam as the opening film. The satirical comedy — which tells the story of a man who breaks the monotony of his life by joining the club of the film’s title — will screen on Nov 26 at Shaw Lido.
“We are pleased to bring the best, most impactful, moving and thought provoking films to the festival, to engage with audiences and the communities at large, because we believe a film festival can play a revitalising role in this unprecedented time,” says SGIFF’s artistic director Kuo Ming-Jung.
More information on ticketing and the festival programme can be found at www.sgiff.com.