Off Centre is The Necessary Stage’s landmark play in the history of Singapore theatre. First staged to great acclaim in 1993 under the direction of Alvin Tan, it is best remembered for bringing mental illness and its patients’ plight to the attention of the media and the general public. Over the past 24 years, Off Centre has been made into an experimental feature film, adapted into a television movie, given a full reading in the UK, taught at a University in Kuala Lumpur and translated and staged as Otak Tak Centre in Kuala Lumpur. As one of The Necessary Stage’s landmark works, Off Centre is part of the Singaporean canon of literary works, and is also the first ever Singapore play to be offered as part of the GCE 'O' Levels literature syllabus.
The play uses effective techniques of flashbacks; moving the characters in and out of of their schizophrenic and normal selves to elicit the rational and emotional experiences of Vinod and Saloma, the two young protagonists. It is not an exaggeration to say that the play touched every person in the audience when it was staged in 1993/1994.
Off Centre has also been selected by the Ministry of Education as the first Singapore play to be offered as a GCE ‘O’ Level literature text from 2007, and has been republished by The Necessary Stage. Two editions are now available – a generic edition as well as a student's edition which includes resource notes by Dr Christine Hatton of the National Institute of Education, a special introduction from A/P Kirpal Singh of the Singapore Management University, as well as a foreword by The Necessary Stage’s Artistic Director, Alvin Tan.
“Off Centre marks a new maturity in Singapore theatre, addressing an audience prepared to be challenged.”
—Hannah Pandian, The Straits Times, 3 Sept 1993
Cover Type: Softcover
Year Published: 2006