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John Palmer

Curious that Singapore, a city that has an almost compulsive desire for orderliness, should be the title of Palmer’s play about emotional chaos. At the centre of the drama there is Sam, the middle-aging gay man forced to put aside his own neuroses to reconcile himself with his estranged father Felix. Sam’s confusion is compounded at every turn: obsessively pursued by the desperate old roue, Roberto, while he himself pursues a fantasy with the straight, erstwhile jocko tennis instructor Bucky Wilson. Sam is further wedged between the addictive scheming of Felix’s bride-to-be Marjorie, and the vengeful counterplotting of his long-jilted mother Gloria.
On one hand,
Singapore represents the well-mined family play, a journey of reconciliation between a son and his estranged father. On the flipside, the play is a wild, outrageous comedy. Competing combinations of would-be lovers sail through revolving doors in search of gratification.
Palmer clearly has a great gift for farce ...

— Ken Gass, Managing Director, Factory Theatre, Toronto
from the Introduction

“venal and lascivious ... shamelessly funny ... an outsider’s view of a society built on lies”
National Post

“no time is wasted in reaffirming Palmer’s credentials as a provocateur ... genuinely wicked salvos that defy reprinting here”
The Toronto Star

“a foul-mouthed sex comedy”
The Globe and Mail

“A funny tangle of sex and family ... Palmer pokes holes in cultural norms with the mighty sword of dark comedy”

“Viciously funny ... [Palmer’s] writing is like a hail of bullets fired from an Uzi”
eye weekly

“SINGAPORE is an enjoyable playscript to read and I would certainly go out on a wet winter's night to see it if it was on at my local theatre.”
New Hope International Review (UK)

An influential and prolific contemporary playwright, John Palmer is a leading member of Canada’s alternative theatre movement. In the 1970s, he was associated with seminal venues such as Factory Theatre Lab and Theatre Passe Muraille, and was a co-founder of Toronto Free Theatre and the Playwrights Union of Canada. His directing credits include productions across Canada, at Glasgow Citizens Theatre in the UK, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Juilliard School. He teaches at the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal, mentors many emerging artists, and works with The Workman Theatre Project at Toronto’s Queen Street Mental Health Centre.
Palmer’s previous publications include “Lillian’s Lament” in Rhubarb-O-Rama!, Franco Boni, editor (Blizzard Publishing, 1998); “Henrik Ibsen On The Necessity Of Producing Norwegian Drama” in The Canadian Theatre Review Anthology, Alan Filewod, editor (UTP, 1993); “Before The Guns, Memories For My Brother, Part 1” in Dangerous Traditions: Four Passe Muraille Plays Judith Rudakoff, editor (Blizzard Publishing, 1993); A Day At The Beach & The End, Robert Wallace, editor (Coach House Press, 1991).

Book Launch: 26 June 2002, 7:30 pm: Harbourfront Reading Series, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto ON

May 2002 / 8.5” x 5.5” / 3 b&w photos / 88 pp / drama (BISAC: DRA013000, DRA000000)
2 acts / 2 females, 5 males
series: Velvet Touch, 3
Broken Jaw Press
ISBN 1-896647-85-5 (tp) / $16.95US