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22 December 1962 |
Glen Goei (born 1962) is one of Singapore's leading film and theatre directors. His broad ranging body of work embraces the full gamut of performing and visual arts; film, theatre, musicals, large scale shows, World Expos, dance, music, and architectural design.
Glen Goei was the Artistic Director of Mu-Lan Arts in London from 1990 to 1998. It was the first Asian theatre company to be established in the United Kingdom. He is currently the Associate Artistic Director of the Singaporean theatre company, W!LD RICE.
Goei's film, Forever Fever was the first Singapore film to achieve a worldwide commercial release. The film was distributed in America and the UK by Miramax, which then signed him on an exclusive three-picture deal. He released his second film, The Blue Mansion, in 2009.
The youngest of seven children, Goei attended the Anglo Chinese School in Singapore from 1969 to 1980, then Cambridge University in the UK from 1983 to 1986, where he earned his B.A. Honors, M.A. in History. He spent the next two years at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, receiving a Postgraduate Diploma in Drama, and later studied Filmmaking at New York University (1994–1995).
Goei's professional career started with his Olivier Award-nominated performance in the title role of M. Butterfly opposite Anthony Hopkins in London's West End. It grew through his multi-award-winning tenure as Producer–Artistic Director of Mu-Lan Arts in London – the first Asian theatre company to be established in the United Kingdom. Mu-Lan's productions, like The Magic Fundoshi, garnered acclaim in London, Singapore and worldwide – including Best Original Play, Best Production and Best Comedy from the Sunday Times Fringe Awards.
In 1998, Goei's film career began with his first feature Forever Fever (a.k.a. That's The Way I Like It), which he wrote, produced and directed. The film was produced under his production company, TigerTiger Productions. It was the first Singapore film to achieve a worldwide commercial release after being picked up by Miramax for distribution in America and the UK. Following its success, Miramax signed him on an exclusive three-picture deal.
His second film The Blue Mansion had its commercial release in October 2009. It was shown at the Pusan and the Tokyo International Film Festivals. Filmed at the historic Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion in Penang, the murder-mystery revolves around a wealthy man who dies suddenly and returns as a ghost to uncover the circumstances surrounding his death.
In 2013, Goei announced that acclaimed cinematographer Christopher Doyle will be shooting his third film, Yellow Flowers, a.k.a. The Hangman’s Breakfast. Written by playwright Haresh Sharma, the film touches upon Singapore's death penalty, telling the story of a single mother Eleanor on death row for unknowingly smuggling drugs, her rebellious only child who refuses to visit her, Eleanor’s young lawyer Nadya who also has issues with her own mother, and the prison’s reluctant executioner Gopal, who develops a friendship with Eleanor.
In 2014, Goei wrote his first book for children, Little Red in the Hood, which transplanted the traditional fairy tale to a Singapore setting. Published by Epigram Books, the children's picture book was illustrated by Drewscape, and a part of its proceeds went to charity.
In 2015, Goei's film project, Pontianak, was selected to be one of the 10 films to be part of the Berlinale Talent Project Market at the Berlin International Film Festival. Pontianak pays homage to the popular Malay horror films produced by the Shaw and Cathay studios in Singapore back in the 1950s and is produced by Tan Bee Thiam, with cinematography by Christopher Doyle.
Underpinning this has been Goei's constant and substantial contribution to Singapore theatre, principally as Associate Artistic Director of the acclaimed Singapore company, W!ld Rice and frequent director for the most commercially successful company, Dream Academy. His productions for W!ld Rice have included hits such as Boeing Boeing, The Magic Fundoshi, Blithe Spirit, and his internationally lauded 2009 interpretation of The Importance of Being Earnest. Goei's work with Dream Academy includes the hugely popular The Revenge of The Dim Sum Dollies, The History of Singapore and The Little Shop of Horrors.
- M. Butterfly, West End, London 1989 – Actor
- Madame Mao'S Memories, Director, London 1991 and tour 1993 – Producer and Director
- Porcelain, Royal Court Theatre, London 1992 – Producer and Director
- The Magic Fundoshi, Hammersmith Theatre, London 1993 and tour 1994, 1996 – Producer and Director,
- Three Japanese Women, Soho Theatre, London, 1993 – Producer and Director
- Into The Woods, Singapore, 1994 – Director
- Kampong Amber, Singapore, 1994 – Actor & Director
- Land of a Thousand Dreams, Singapore, 1995 – Director
- Boeing Boeing, Singapore, 1995 – Director
- Godspell, Anglo-Chinese School, Singapore, 2001 – Director
- Blithe Spirit, Singapore, 2001 – Director
- Boeing Boeing (New Production) Singapore, 2002, 2005 – Director
- Revenge of the Dim Sum Dollies, Singapore, 2004 – Director
- Aladdin, Singapore, 2004 – Director
- The Magic Fundoshi (New Production), Singapore, 2006 – Director
- Little Shop of Horrors, Singapore, 2006 – Director
- The Dim Sum Dollies' History of Singapore, Singapore, 2007 – Director
- The Importance of Being Earnest, Singapore, 2009, 2014 – Director
- Emily of Emerald Hill, Singapore, 2011 - Director
- The House of Bernarda Alba, Singapore, 2014 – Director
- Public Enemy, Singapore, 2014 – Director
- Forever Fever (a.k.a. That's The Way I Like It), 1997–98 – Writer, Producer, Director
- The Blue Mansion, Singapore/Malaysia, 2009 – Producer & Director
- Really Something, Singapore, 2001 – Director
- Lovejoy, Episode "Flat Fee", TV Series, 1992 - Translator
Large scale performance
- National Day Parade, Singapore 2003–2006 – Creative Director
- The Arts House, Opening Ceremony, Singapore, 2004 – Director
- IOC Conference, Opening Ceremony, Singapore, 2006 – Creative Director
- Singapore Pavilion, World Expo, Nagoya, Japan, 2004–2005 – Creative Director
- New Majestic Hotel, Singapore 2006 – Guest Designer
- One North Bridge Condominium and Offices, 2006 – Creative Designer
- Bintang Goldhill Condominium, Kuala Lumpur 2008 – Creative Designer
Awards and nominations
- Olivier Award for Best Newcomer (Nomination)
- Sunday Times (UK) Awards for Best Production, Best Comedy, Best Play
- National Youth Award (Excellence), Singapore, Contribution to the Arts
- Barker, Victoria (19 October 2009). "Soap-opera wake Glen Goei's muse". Singapore Press Holdings. my Paper. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
- Noh, Jean (4 December 2013). "Doyle to shoot Goei's Yellow Flowers". Screen Daily. Screen Daily. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
- "Little Red in the Hood". Epigram Books. Epigram Books. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
- Loh, Genevieve (28 January 2015). "Singapore director Glen Goei heading to Berlin Film Festival". MediaCorp. TODAY. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- The Blue Mansion Official Website
- IMDB Profile
- W!ld Rice
- New York Times article on The Importance of Being Earnest
- Interview with Channel News Asia
- Interview with POSKOD.SG