Arts & Events, Lifestyle

MW Reviews: A French Kiss In Singapore


There was a palpable sense of joie de vivre at the School of The Arts (SOTA) on Friday evening. Six Material World readers and their companions were treated to VIP tickets for the gala premiere of A French Kiss In Singapore, as well as the chance to have champagne and canapes with the cast after the show. It was a fun-filled evening, and that night, several readers even PM-ed us on Facebook to tell us how much they enjoyed themselves. We’re glad all of you had fun!

For those of you who’re still dithering whether you should catch the show, check out Deborah’s review of the 90-minute production:

Yet another first-rate performance from Hossan Leong.

Yet another first-rate performance from Hossan Leong.

“French music may perhaps be unfamiliar to many of us in Singapore but with the combined talents of George Chan, Hossan Leong, Robin Goh and Linden Furnell, you may just begin to develop an interest (or maybe curiosity) in the songwriters featured in this revue, and their works.

A French Kiss In Singapore begins with the songs by Charles Aznavour. A suitable opener considering that you may conclude – after the show – that his songs are the least memorable and entertaining of the lot. Songs by Charles Trenet of ‘Beyond The Sea’ fame, Serge Gainsbourg (singer/actress Charlotte Gainsbourg’s father) and Jacques Brel, who wrote ‘Seasons In The Sun’, follow and as familiarity surrounds the audience, you’ll sense a general warming up to the show and its performers.

George Chan’s choreography is a blinding mix of nifty footwork and comedic gestures. He effortlessly weaves in the use of props such as chairs and drums into his choreography so the audience’s eyes move along the entire length and breadth of the stage, creating a show that never once has a boring moment.

Special mention has to go to Hossan Leong. The actor is in his element here, assuming characters from an old man to a lollipop-loving young girl. The entire theatre never fails to light up in laughter whenever he comes on. It is his excellent comedic timing that makes A French Kiss In Singapore extremely entertaining. In their performance of Gainbourg’s controversial ‘Je t’aime … moi non plus’, the actor bravely takes on the part where Jane Birkin apparently contributed the throaty, erotic sounds in the background of the studio recording.

My favourite number in the entire show is ‘Madeleine’ (by Jacques Brel). Energetic, well-coordinated, hilariously funny, I guarantee your ears will still be ringing with its infectious melody the next day.A well thought-out performance, you’ll never have to worry about feeling out of your depth here. Many of the songs are performed in English so you can fully appreciate the lyrics and the word-play here. It is a 10/10 show and if you’ve never spent an extended period of time with French music, this is a great opportunity to get started.”

Two happy campers - Grace (left), Anne (right)

Two happy campers – Grace (left), Anne (right)

Over wine and canapes, 23-year-old reader Grace Yeoh (who was there with her sister) shared with us what she thought of the show:

“I don’t usually like musicals, but I really enjoyed A French Kiss In Singapore. Even though some of the songs were in French, there were quite a number of familiar tunes as well. My favourite song was ‘I Wish You Love’ – I found it very moving.”

Her sister, Anne Yeoh, 20, says, “I loved it! It was an entertaining production throughout, and all four cast members did a really good job. I especially loved the performance of ‘Wax Doll’, where they took turns to sing in different languages.”

A French Kiss In Singapore is currently playing till 7 December at SOTA. Get your tickets at Sistic now.