The year is 2021. Climate change is wreaking havoc across the globe. Donald Trump has been re-elected US President for a second term. Brexit is in full effect and causing chaos all over Europe. In the wake of escalating wars in the Middle East, famine in West Africa, and relentless terrorist attacks by radical extremists, the UK – and many nations around the world – has enforced a ban on all immigration.
With the coastline around him and life as he knows it crumbling to dust, Leslie Chen is forced to abandon his home in England and move his family back to his birthplace, Singapore. Confronting a country that is a world apart from the one he knew as a child, he is now made to question the meaning of home.
As the crises and conflicts escalate, one thing is certain, come hell or high water, and possibly both, he must protect his family.
While dragonflies migrate halfway across the world, we, the human race, struggle to embrace our nomadic heritage, our need to move to greener pastures in order to survive. And as global warming, the resurgence of far-right politics and worldwide paranoia make us burn bridges and build walls between communities, families and individuals, we have to ask ourselves: Where do we go from here?
Dragonflies is the story of a family fighting for survival in a hostile world, looking for somewhere to call home, and something that might look like hope.
Commissioned by the Singapore International Festival of Arts. First performed at the Singapore International Festival of Arts 2017.
“Street's writing is effectual in capturing the pain brewed by grief, as well as the resignation in a person from a marginalised community. Running for the second time, the script was even updated to include a jab at the Uber and Grab drama, much to the audience's glee. Another quote-worthy line surfaces when the play muses on how powerless a human feels when dealing with physical geography.
Watch Dragonflies to walk a mile in someone else's shoes, and leave the theatre considering our changing, mobile role as humans in this uncertain future.”
“The play offers a dynamic and fresh look on current affairs that aims to enrich, surprise and stimulate its audience.
But overall, the message of Dragonflies is simple: build bridges, not walls.”
“There are any number of plays that examine cultural and economic dislocation but Dragonflies embodies this from a truly international perspective, making it a play that would instantly speak to audiences anywhere in the world.
It's terrific to welcome such a fantastic script to our local canon and I would love to see PANGDEMONIUM take this to a theatre in London or New York, proudly waving the Singaporean banner abroad.”
“Watching Dragonflies is like a reading an issue of The Economist from cover to cover: it is chock-full of urgent issues from immigration to xenophobia to climate change.
Excellent script, evocative staging, brilliantly played!”
“Dragonflies is a compelling, feel good play that makes us believe that even in the face of unrelenting difficulty, there’s always a way out that will leave us not with despair but with hope.
With a successful second original script on their hands this year, we’re now hungrier than ever for more original productions from Pangdemonium, who undoubtedly cement themselves as one of Singapore’s best theatre companies.”
Tan Kheng Hua
18 May - 3 Jun 2018
Power To The People
“Simply stunning. One of the most moving, meaningful, insightful, beautifully written and visually mesmerising productions I have seen lately, realised by a stellar cast. This will make you think twice about the environment we live in, the way we see “outsiders” and treat them, and what it means to be a part of this universe.
Do yourself and the world a favor by watching it.”
“Dragonflies is truly an amazing show with many powerful messages. It definitely made me question my own perspectives and be renewed in my hope for more compassion, empathy and kindness in society.
Once again, as always, Pangdemonium has hit home with this production!”
“This year we opted for Pangdemonium season tickets, meaning a second viewing of Dragonflies (we watched the play last year). I did not realise I’d be able to love it any more than I already did, and find the themes running through it even more relevant to today.
Thanks to the Pangdemonium team for another stellar performance.”
“Dragonflies is one of the best plays i’ve seen. Racial sensitivity, climate change, national identity. So many important-but-overlooked messages packed into two hours.
“Dragonflies was one of the hardest and definitely one of the most amazingly powerful pieces of theatre I’ve ever watched. Well done. Well done.”
“Pangdemonium’s play on the backlash to immigration and the perceived ‘other’ in the UK, Singapore and other places around the world was painfully uncomfortable to watch in parts - which makes it so prescient and compelling in today’s world.
This made me really hopeful about the arts scene in Singapore as they’re really a wonderful theatre company!”
“Pangdemonium never disappoints. Another extraordinary show that was both hopeful and heart wrenching. Each and every actress and actor was fabulous as was the set and lighting. I found myself getting sucked into the emotions, as if I were there, only to have to reel myself back out.
If you haven’t seen Dragonflies, check it out!”
“Had my heart, mind and soul stretched watching Dragonflies by Pangdemonium.”
“How good is Dragonflies by Pangdemonium? I forgot to go to the loo at the start of show and was a bit urgent. 2 hours and 10 minutes later, I had forgotten I needed to go at all. It's a show that holds up a mirror to some of our innermost thoughts and biases.
It certainly made me confront some things about myself. Such a vital piece of work.”
“A clever and entertaining social commentary on current hot topics of protectionism, climate change, dumb ass regulations etc etc, and how there can still be little pods of kindness for a little bit of hope...
Dragonflies, one of the best Adrian Pang-acted and Pangdemonium productions to date! Definitely hits home!”