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The Ngee Ann Kongsi

W!LD RICE’s Grandmother Tongue

written & directed by THOMAS LIM 

Grandmother Tongue, the sold-out smash hit of the 2016 Singapore Theatre Festival, returns for a limited season!

In a Singapore where dialects have been losing relevance for generations, Grandmother Tongue traces a young man’s struggle to connect with his 84-year-old Teochew-speaking grandmother. He teaches her to use a mobile phone. He helps her buy her favourite brand of soya sauce. He visits her in hospital after a fall. Along the way, he begins to understand just what it means to spend decades in linguistic and cultural exile.

Inspired by Kuo Pao Kun’s seminal Mama Looking For Her Cat, Thomas Lim’s funny, insightful play examines the social costs of our mother-tongue language policy and the erasure of dialects in today’s Singapore. In ways both humorous and heartbreaking, Grandmother Tongue explores how our identities are bound up with the languages that we use and the ones that we lose.

Performed in Teochew, Mandarin and English, with English and Chinese surtitles.

TALKBACK THURSDAY Meet the artists and deepen your experience of the play in these lively post-show discussions on Thursdays 5 Oct, 12 Oct and 19 Oct 2017.

SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE As part of W!LD RICE's commitment to diversity and inclusion, the 8pm performance on Sat 14 Oct 2017 will be simultaneously interpreted in Singapore Sign Language (SgSL) for the deaf and hearing impaired.



原著 / 导演 林汀文
演员 韩雪卿 陈寿臣 傅正龙

于2016 新加坡戏剧节叫好又叫座的【祖母语】,将再度上演。

方言在新加坡社会逐渐失去意义。【祖母语】讲述一名孙子如何与 只懂潮州话的八十四 岁奶奶沟通。 他教她如何用手机、 他帮她买她喜爱品牌的酱油、 他到医院探访跌倒后的她,并开始意识语言和文化的重要性

此剧灵感源自郭宝昆的多元文化创作【寻找小猫的妈妈】,林汀文以细腻有趣手法探讨母语政策及方言被擦除的代价。 【祖母语】说明语言,不论是使用或失去的,都和人们息息相关。




Start Sales Date

Early Bird Sale
3 Jul 2017, 9am - 27 Jul 2017, 12am

Other Channels :
3 Jul 2017, 10am - 26 Jul 2017, 8pm

Public Sales
27 Jul 2017, 12am

Other Channels:
27 Jul 2017, 10am

  • Teochew, Mandarin, English

Approximately 1 hour 15 minutes (No Interval)

Promoter Name

Rating / Age Limit

  • No admission for infants in arms
  • Patron 3 years and above must purchase a ticket for entry
  • Admission is subject to tickets produced at the entrance
  • IMDA rating: Advisory 16 (some mature content and coarse language)

Photography / Video Recording Rules

  • No Photography, Video recording and Audio recording is permitted for this event

Through All SISTIC Channels
15% Discount for Early Bird Discount
[Valid till 26 Jul 2017]


“…the regular sniffles from the audience meant that the play struck a close chord with many… captures many facets of what it means to be a senior citizen in Singapore today – painting a very vivid picture of an 84-year-old woman getting alienated from a rapidly changing Singapore… Actors… are simply excellent… a play which does more showing than telling – but speaks volumes nonetheless.”
The Business Times

“The sold-out success of the play is based on its content and cast… Rei Poh is brilliant in multiple turns… Tan Shou Chen is strong in his low-key role as the grandson… a foil to Jalyn Han’s superb enactment of the grandmother.”
The Straits Times

“…an eloquent evocation of the linguistic, cultural and emotional ghetto of an elderly woman who is cut off from a society which regards her native tongue as substandard… Grandmother Tongue captures this ambiguity well, the sense that many of us are stranded in a linguistic no man’s land, able to speak a coloniser’s language well, but unable to communicate in, literally, our grandmothers’ tongues.”
Ong Sor Fern

“故事情节立足于社会现实,再现了本地华人隔代语言习惯的差距。祖孙两辈的交流,通过熟 悉的生活场景呈现,亲切动人,令观众在欢笑和感伤的交替中,产生共鸣.”
联合早报Lian He Zao Bao

Event Date
Thu, 28 Sep - Sat, 21 Oct 2017

Tue to Sat: 8.00pm
Sat & Sun: 3.00pm

Ticket Pricing
(Excludes Booking Fee)

Tues - Thur, 8.00pm
Standard: S$35

Fri & Sat, 8.00pm and Sat & Sun, 3.00pm
Standard: S$40

(This is a Free Seating Event )