British Theatre Playhouse
The logo of the British Theatre Playhouse
|Genre||British plays, musicals and concerts|
|Founded||28 October 2004|
Cecilia Leong-FaulknerJohn Faulkner
The British Theatre Playhouse (BTP) is a professional theatrical and musical production company incorporated in Singapore in 2004. With the motto The Best in Live British Entertainment, the BTP is internationally focused with a British connection, as well as it is a long-standing member of the Singaporean British Chamber of Commerce and the European Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, the BTP also established a UK branch office, in order to work more closely with acclaimed British playwrights, writers, actors, directors, musical directors, and set and costume designers.
The company has produced and presented a series of highly successful British productions in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and the UK, and is currently looking to expand its production output in Hong Kong and India. Its aim is to continue bringing to the audience shows which feature stars and other prominent stage, television and film actors, or music performers, from London’s West End, as it has been the case with all its shows so far, and presenting them in world-class hotels and other venues. So far, the BTP has produced 20 plays and musicals, making it a largely active production company, as it has been steadily achieving at least 2 productions per year since its foundation.
- 1 Founding history
- 2 Patrons
- 3 Honorary advisors
- 4 Productions
- 4.1 Tea with the Old Queen
- 4.2 Stars of the West End
- 4.3 Let's Dance – Paul Roberts Sings David Bowie
- 4.4 The Vortex
- 4.5 No Sex, Please – We're British
- 4.6 Leo Sayer in Concert – 40 Years at the Top
- 4.7 Yes, Prime Minister
- 4.8 Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap
- 4.9 Louis Hoover's Salute to Sinatra
- 4.10 Out of Order
- 4.11 Buddy vs The Killer
- 4.12 From a Jack to a King
- 4.13 Blonde Bombshells of 1943
- 4.14 The Rise and Fall of Little Voice
- 4.15 Relatively Speaking
- 4.16 A Bedful of Foreigners
- 4.17 Private Lives
- 4.18 Funny Money
- 4.19 Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest
- 4.20 How the Other Half Loves
- 5 Contribution to the Community
- 6 Awards and Distinctions
- 7 Press and Media
- 8 Reviews
- 9 Partners and Sponsors
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The founders of the British Theatre Playhouse are Cecilia Leong-Faulkner and John Faulkner. Cecilia and John met in Kuala Lumpur in 1987 when Cecilia was working for American Express International in Kuala Lumpur which sponsored the play Bedroom Farce by Sir Alan Ayckbourn CBE and John was appearing in a dinner-theatre play at The Regent Hotel for the late British actor and producer Derek Nimmo. The idea for the foundation of the BTP came to them over a dinner one evening back in 2002, two years before the foundation of the BTP in 2004, when a comment was made about the absence of British plays in Singapore.
Cecilia has always enjoyed British theatre and music. Her love for the arts and culture sparked off in childhood, and one of her favourite magazines was Vogue, which introduced her to glossy lifestyle and people with interesting careers or hobbies. To her, art is culture, an expression of one’s dreams, inspiration, life and society. Cecilia is currently the Managing Director of the company. Previously, she worked as a Marketing Executive for American Express when she was living in Kuala Lumpur, then as a Marketing Manager for Wembley Stadium when she moved to live in London, then when she first moved to Singapore as a Marketing Manager for Magazines Inc., then as a Corporate Director of Marketing Communications for the luxury Banyan Tree Resorts and Spas again in Singapore, and as a Regional Advisor to the Association of Business Executives (ABE). At some point, she even formed her own marketing and PR firm called Cecilia Leong-Faulkner Marketing and PR Consultancy, and thus she worked for various clients including the Six Senses Hotels, Resorts and Spas, for fashion events with the Singapore Tourism Board, and for fashion designers such as Lawrence Steele, Neil Barrett and DSquared2. In addition to her background in magazine publishing with Magazines Inc., she has also been a freelance journalist writing articles for Singapore’s Women’s Weekly. She is a current Life Member of the Chinese Women’s Association in Singapore, which is well known for its fund-raising activities, and has served as the Honorary Secretary on the main committee. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Hotel Management from Cornell University, one of the top Ivy League universities in the USA, and a Diploma in Business Management from the Association of Business Executives (ABE). She was recently asked to join the Leadership Business Group of Singapore's British Chamber of Commerce.
John Faulkner (also known by his equity performer’s name Richard Denning) was born and raised in London, and saw his career starting in London when he graduated from the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He has since worked as a producer, director and performer in London, UK, and in over twenty other countries. His London West End shows include e.g. Sir John Gielgud’s production of The Gay Lord Quex with Judi Dench, and Me And My Girl at the Apollo Theatre. In London too, he performed his cabaret act featuring the songs of Noël Coward, Cole Porter, George Gershwin and many others of that period, at The Ritz, The Dorchester and Claridges Hotel. His overseas work includes the recital programme Remembrance for Shakespeare in the USA with Princess Grace of Monaco, which was also presented in London six months later in the presence of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and a year in Paris with Roland Petit and his wife Zizi Jeanmaire in their revue Zizi, Je T’Aime! at Le Casino de Paris. He produced and acted in Noël Coward’s Cowardy Custard in a national tour of Sweden in conjunction with the Swedish National Theatre. In Singapore, he co-founded the LaSalle School of Drama at LaSalle College of the Arts, and he was also the director of the Musical Theatre School, which offered recreational classes in song and dance for musical theatre to adults. He is currently the Artistic Director of the BTP.
Thanks to their long-standing promotion of the British culture in the area through the British Theatre Playhouse, Cecilia and John were also invited to meet The Queen and Prince Phillip on the occasion of the Queen’s State Visit to Singapore in March 2006. On another occasion, Cecilia was invited to meet Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton when they officially visited Singapore in September 2012. Further to the above, Cecilia also collaborated with the welfare charity The Mission to Seafarers and was thus invited to meet its Royal Patron, HRH Princess Anne, at a reception on board the Royal Albatross yacht on 3 November 2016. One year later, in November 2017, Cecilia was invited to meet HRH Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, when they officially visited Singapore as part of their Southeast Asia tour.
The British Theatre Playhouse has the honour to presently have four patrons. The Life Patron since the foundation of the BTP HE Sir Alan Collins KCVO CMG. His Excellency Sir Alan Collins KCVO CMG is the former British High Commissioner to Singapore and former British Consul-General in New York, USA, as well as the Director General and Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Business Council.
Furthermore, the BTP has a Patron in HE Mr Scott Wightman CMG, when he became the British High Commissioner to Singapore in 2015, thus succeeded HE Mr Antony Phillipson (2011-2015), who in turn succeeded HE Mr Paul Madden CMG FRGS (2007-2011).
Moreover, in Malaysia, HE Mrs Victoria Treadell CMG MVO is another Patron of the BTP since 2014. She succeeded HE Mr Simon Featherstone CMG (2010 - 2014), after he succeeded HE Mr Boyd McCleary CMG CVO (2006 - 2010).
HE Mr Mark Kent also accepted to be the Patron of British Theatre Playhouse in Vietnam (2007 - 2010), and is currently the British Ambassador to Thailand. His Excellency was the Guest of Honour at the Opening Night of the BTP’s production The Mousetrap in Bangkok in October 2013.
The British Theatre Playhouse also has two Honorary Advisors. The first one is Mr Steve Puckett OBE. Steve has been a Board Member of the Charities Aid Foundation - South East Asia and the Lien Aid Foundation, as well as an Advisory Board Member of Singapore Polytechnic and Director of Newcastle University International. He is also the Founder of various companies including the Singapore-based Asia-wide energy consulting company Tri-Zen. Previously, he was the President of the British Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, the Chairman of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, and until the end of the 1990s he held senior executive positions at Exxon Mobil (Mobil Corporation).
The second one is Mr Stephen Mangham. Steven is one of the partners in Mangham Gaxiola McGarrybowen, which has been Singapore's biggest ever advertising agency start up. Prior to that, he used to be the Chairman of the Ogilvy Singapore Group. Under Stephen’s leadership, Ogilvy almost trebled their revenue and in less than six years they grew from 240 to 600 people. Stephen has graduated with a degree in law from Oxford University.
Tea with the Old Queen
In October 2017, the British Theatre Playhouse in association with The British Club of Singapore produced Tea with the Old Queen. Tea with the Old Queen is a comical, witty and poignant theatrical comedy revolving around the imaginary funny eccentricities of the British monarchy, as recorded in the fictional secret diaries of William Tallon, an actual person who for more than 40 years worked as a Stewart and Page at Clarence House where Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother lived, due to which he also came to be known as Backstairs Billy. The play was first written as well as directed and produced by the award-winning writer Graham Woolnough. Its current protagonist and the one in Singapore too is Ian Stark, as this is a one-man theatrical comedy.
The theatrical comedy has entertained many audiences all these years in the UK, such as in Jermyn Street Theatre in London’s West End (2016), Newcastle Theatre (2014), Bridlington Spa Theatre (2012), Guildford’s’ Yvonne Arnauld Theatre (2012), Edinburgh Fringe (2012), King’s Head Theatre in London (2017 & 2010), and many more.
The show was attended by the President of The British Club of Singapore, Mr Damian Hills, and others.
Stars of the West End
In June and July 2017, the British Theatre Playhouse produced Stars of the West End in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, in association with Worldwide Entertainment. The first event in Singapore was a regular performance, and the second one was a charity gala in aid of the charity organisation Food from the Heart and was attended by the President of the Republic of Singapore HE Dr Tony Tan, the British High Commissioner HE Mr Scott Wightman, and the EU Ambassador Dr Michael Pulch. Both the events took place at One Farrer Hotel and Spa. Likewise, there was a regular performance in Jakarta, attended by the Minister of Tourism HE Mr Ariel Yahya, and the Deputy British Ambassador and Head of Mission to Indonesia Ms Juliet Maric Capeling, and the event took place in Ciputra Artpreneur Theatre. Finally, there was a charity gala alongside a performance in Kuala Lumpur attended by Her Majesty Tunku Ampuan Tuanku Najihah, and the event took place at the Gardens Ballroom of the Gardens Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
In Stars of the West End, four leading stars of some of the most successful musicals in the history of London’s West End, such as The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, Cats, Chicago, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Mamma Mia!, Miss Saigon, West Side Story and Wicked!, presented songs from the aforementioned musicals.
The four leading stars in Singapore were Mike Sterling, Shona Lindsay, Tom Solomon and Jayne O’Mahony. In Kuala Lumpour and Jakarta, Jayne O’Mahony were replaced by Yildz Hussein.
Let's Dance – Paul Roberts Sings David Bowie
In November 2016, the British Theatre Playhouse collaborated with Worldwide Entertainment in order to present in Singapore Let’s Dance – Paul Roberts Sings David Bowie. The show opened in Cé La Vi at Marina Bay Sands on 10 November and lasted until 12 November 2016. The show was attended by the EU Ambassador to Singapore, Dr Michael Pulch, and his wife, Gabriele Pulch, and other important people of the local political and financial scene.
David Bowie (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), used to be a British pop singer, songwriter and actor, famous for hits such as Let’s Dance, Space Oddity, Ziggy Stardust, China Girl, and many more. Thus, he was one of the pop icons who influenced Paul Roberts, himself a singer, songwriter and actor and former lead singer of the British punk rock music band The Stranglers for more than 15 years. The other band members who comprised the band for that particular show in Singapore was Andy Ellis (guitar), Martin Lawrie (keyboards), Kita Steur (bass) and Jason Day (drums).
Also, when HRH Princess Anne attended a charity event on 3 November for two charities of which she is the Patroness, The Mission to Seafarers and Riding for the Disabled, Paul Roberts also performed there, after the respective arrangement of the BTP.
In April 2016, the BTP produced the world-famous play The Vortex by Sir Noël Coward. This is the play that launched Coward’s career as one of the great British dramatists with its scathing expose of London’s high society in the 1920s. Originally produced in 1924, the play enjoyed a phenomenal success at the box office in London, although it scandalised London and although Coward was only twenty four years old at the time.
The play featured the distinguished British actress Jane Seymour OBE, in the demanding role of Florence Lancaster, a high society and promiscuous beauty facing advancing years and lovers. Jane Seymour is famous for her role in the TV series Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman, for which she won her second Golden Globe Award and got endeared by audiences worldwide, as well as for her role in the James Bond film Live and Let Die. This was Jane's first time on an Asian stage. Other actors and actresses included James Cartwright, Alex Spinney, Arthur Bostrom, Kate Malyon, Tracy Brabin, Julie Teal, John Fagan and John Faulkner. The play was directed by Bob Thomson, and Michael Holt was the set designer.
The production opened at the Jubilee Hall Theatre of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore from 27 April to 15 May 2016. An Art for Charity gala took place on 29 April to raise money for the International Committee of Red Cross as well as for Singapore Red Cross, and it was attended by The President of Singapore Dr Tony Tan with his wife Mrs Mary Tan, the British High Commissioner in Singapore HE Mr Scott Wightman CMG that is one of the Patrons of the BTP, and the EU Ambassador in Singapore Dr Michael Pulch.
No Sex, Please – We're British
Previously, in May 2015, the BTP produced the play No Sex, Please – We’re British. This was one of the world’s longest running comedies, running continuously for sixteen years in London's West End, and also one of the favourite forms of British theatre – farce. The play starred Nick Wilton and was directed by Alister Cameron, and enjoyed great success in both Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. In Singapore, the play was also attended by the President His Excellency Dr Tony Tan.
The opening night in Singapore was on 6 May at the Raffles Hotel’s Jubilee Hall Theatre, followed by a Charity Gala Performance and Dinner on 8 May, the President HE Dr Tony Tan’s visit on 14 May, and the Cheque Presentation to Breast Cancer Foundation on 19 June. Subsequently, the play moved to Kuala Lumpur for more shows from 19 to 22 May at the Hotel Majestic Kuala Lumpur.
The play featured the artists Nick Wilton, Alister Cameron, Sarah-Jayne Butler, Harry Livingstone, Lynette McMorrough, John Faulkner, Clive Flint, Lisa Hurst and Adele Oni . Alister Cameron was also its director, and its set designer was Katy Tuxford.
Leo Sayer in Concert – 40 Years at the Top
Extending the horizons into the music world again, as it had done before too, the BTP presented two musical productions from the British-born singer Leo Sayer, in January 2015. The name of the tour was Leo Sayer in Concert – 40 Years at the Top.
The events premiered on 16 January with Cocktails at the Eden Hall, which is the official residence of the British High Commissioner in Singapore, continued with Leo Sayer Live in Singapore on 17 January, and concluded with the After-Show party for the VIP guests to meet Leo Sayer later at the night of 17 January.
The concert in Kuala Lumpur was held on 20 January, with an After Show Party for the Queen of Malaysia HRH Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong, the Royal Princess of Pahang YAM Tengku Muhaini Sultan Ahmad Shah, and other VIPs to meet Leo Sayer after the show.
The band included Ronnie Johnson (guitar), Elliot Henshaw (drums), Rob Taggart (keyboards) and Dave Troke (bass), under the consultancy of Toby Cruse.
Yes, Prime Minister
In 2014, the BTP produced the quintessentially British award-winning comedy Yes, Prime Minister by Sir Antony Jay CBE CVO and Jonathan Lynn. Based on the successful BBC television series by the same writers, the stage version had run for two years in London's West End in 2011 and 2012, followed by a successful tour in the UK in 2013.
The play opened at Raffles Hotel's Jubilee Hall theatre on 8 May, followed by the Charity Gala Performance and Dinner on 9 May, lunch on 12 May at the Eden Hall, the visit of the Singaporean President HE Dr Tony Tan on 17 May, and the Cheque Presentation on 19 May. Subsequently, the show toured to Kuala Lumpur for shows from 21 to 25 May, and Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dato' Seri Najib Razak also attended the play, as well as the Malaysian royalty YAM Yang Amat Mulia Tunku Laxamana Tunku Dato' Seri Utama Naquiyuddin Tuanku Ja'afar Ibni Tuanku Ja’afar DK, DKYR, SPNS, SPMP, PPT, and the Chairman of the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce Dato’ Seri Larry Gan.
The play included the artists John McAndrew (Jim Hacker), Crispin Redman (Sir Humphrey Appleby), Antony Eden (Bernard Wooley), Sasha Waddell (Claire Sutton), David Warwick (The Kumranistan Ambassador) and John Faulkner (Simon Chester). The director was Robin Herford, and the set designer was Simon Higlett.
Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap
October 2013 saw the company’s most successful production with sell-out nights by audiences in both Singapore and Kuala Lumpur as well as great success in Bangkok. The play was the world’s longest running play, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, and this production was part of the show’s worldwide celebrations of the Diamond Anniversary of the first performance in London 60 years ago and the continuous run since then.
The show was first presented in Bangkok from 27 to 29 September at Aksra Theatre, and was graced by the British Ambassador to Thailand HE Mr Mark Kent. The opening night in Singapore took place on 4 October at the Raffles Hotel’s Jubilee Hall Theatre, followed by the Eden Hall lunch on 7 October, and the Charity Gala Performance and Dinner on 10 October which was attended by Singapore’s President HE Dr Tony Tan and his wife Mrs Mary Tan. In Kuala Lumpur the show was presented from 16 to 20 October at the Auditorium DBKL and was attended by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato’ Sri Dr Mahathir Mohaamad and his wife Dr Siti Hasmah.
The artists of the play included Tim Wallers, Isla Carter, Richard Keightley, Sarah Whitlock, John Faulkner, Katherine Heath, Tony Boncza and Thomas Richardson; the director was Denise Silvey; and the set designer was Malcolm J. Mclnnes following the work of the original set of Roger Furse from 1952.
Louis Hoover's Salute to Sinatra
In a change of artistic orientation, the BTP also presented Louis Hoover’s solo music show Salute to Sinatra, featuring a live 18 piece band on stage to back Louis Hoover, with songs from the celebrated career of Frank Sinatra.
The events of the show started with an invitation for the VIPs to meet Louis Hoover on 17 October 2012, followed by the opening night and the Charity Gala Performance and Dinner on 18 October at the Sands Theatre of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, which was also attended by the former President of Singapore HE Mr S.R. Nathan.
The artists included Louis Hoover himself with The Hollywood Orchestra and Melissa Tham; the musical director was Toby Cruse; and the UK musicians were again Toby Cruse (piano/keyboards), Elliot Henshaw (drums), David Olney (bass), Robert Sydor (tenor sax/flute/clarinet) and Tony Dixon (lead trumpet).
Out of Order
Earlier in the same year of 2012, the BTP had produced Ray Cooney OBE’s award-winning farce Out of Order. The show was presented at the Raffles Hotel's Jubilee Hall in Singapore, and later on at the Double Tree Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, with great box office success at both venues.
The events for this show included a Meet-the-Cast Reception at Eden Hall on 9 April, a Charity Gala Performance and Dinner on 11 April, and the actual performances took place from 11 to 15 April at the Jubilee Hall Theatre of the Raffles Hotel. The opening night was also attended by the Singaporean President HE Dr Tony Tan and his wife Mrs Mary Tan, the then British High Commissioner H.E. Mr Antony Phillipson, and the then President of the British Chamber of Commerce Mr Steve Puckett.
The artists were Nick Wilton, Robin Kermode, Jolana Lee, Sasha Waddell, Paddy Navin, David Streames, Edward Grace, David Warwick and John Faulkner; the director was David Warwick; and the set designer was Katy Tuxford.
Buddy vs The Killer
As the BTP had diversified, since the appeal of musical shows in the region had become clear to its owners, an electrifying rock 'n roll show was produced in May 2011, called Buddy Vs the Killer. The show thus made its world premiere debut in Singapore, and after that it toured to Kuala Lumpur where it was presented at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur. It was devised by the British actor-musicians Billy Geraghty and Kevin Oliver Jones, and featured the songs of the rock 'n roll icons and Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis. Jerry used to be known as 'the Killer' and hence this title.
This show started with rehearsals in the area of Pimlico in London in April 2011. When everything was ready and everyone moved to Singapore, the show started with a Meet the Cast Party on 2 May at the Eden Hall, then from 4 to 8 May the doors opened at Jubilee Hall Theatre of the Raffles Hotel, followed by the British Night Charity Gala on 6 May at the same venue. The success of the musical led to the transfer of the production to the UK, to the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre and the Futurist Theatre.
For this musical, the artists were Billy Geraghty, Kevin Oliver Jones, Tom Connor, Tara Nelson, Adam Keast, Ally Holmes, Dan de Cruz and Jason Blackwater; the director was John Faulkner; the music director was Kevin Oliver Jones; and the set designer was Graham Lough.
From a Jack to a King
The BTP closed the decade successfully with the production of the play From a Jack to a King by Bob Carlton, which was presented at the Raffles Hotel’s Jubilee Hall Theatre in Singapore, from 5 to 9 May 2010. The opening night was attended by the then Minister for Education The Honourable Dr Ng Eng Hen and his wife Prof. Ivy Ng, and the then Director for the British Council Mr Mark Howard. The following week, the musical production was also presented in Kuala Lumpur at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur.
The artists included Peter Helmer, Matt Devitt, Steve Simmonds, Kevin Jones, Ally Holmes, Grant Dinwoodie, Sarah Whittuck, Maria Lawson and Jane Milligan. The director was Matt Devitt; the music director was Dai Watts; and the set and costume designer was Rodney Ford.
Blonde Bombshells of 1943
Alan Plater CBE FRSL’s Blonde Bombshells of 1943 was produced and presented at the Raffles Hotel’s Jubilee Hall Theatre, Singapore, from 29 October to 2 November 2008. It was one more musical produced by the BTP, achieving an equally impressive success. Subsequently, the musical play was presented in Kuala Lumpur at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur, and in Bangkok at the Hilton Bangkok.
The artists for this play were Alison Harding, Karen Paullada, Rosie Jenkins, Suzie Emmett, Barbara Hockaday, Sarah Whittuck, Jane Milligan and Oliver Chopping; the director was again John Faulkner; and the music director was Howard Gray.
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice
Jim Cartwright’s The Rise and Fall of Little Voice was the first musical which was produced by the British Theatre Playhouse, opening its doors at the Jubilee Hall Theatre of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, from 16 to 21 January 2008. The opening night was honoured by the presence of the Singaporean President HE Mr S.R. Nathan.
After that, the musical play was also presented in Kuala Lumpur at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur, in Bangkok at the Hilton Bangkok, and in Sri Lanka at the Hilton Colombo.
For this play, the artists were James Cartwright, Sarah Duncan,John McArdle, Michelle McManus, Rachael Wood and John Faulkner. The director was Alexander Holt; the set designer was Norman Coates; and the music director was Stuart Barr.
Relatively Speaking was a production of Sir Alan Ayckbourn CBE. It was first presented from 2 to 6 May 2007 at the Raffles Hotel’s Jubilee Hall Theatre in Singapore, and then toured to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and Colombo in Sri Lanka.
The artists were Jeremy Gittins, William Rycroft, Amanda Waldy and Marianne Oldham; the director was John Nolan; and the set designer was Norman Coates.
A Bedful of Foreigners
A Bedful of Foreigners by Dave Freeman was the BTP’s previous production. It was presented from 15 to 19 November 2006 at the Jubilee Hall Theatre of Raffles Hotel in Singapore, and then toured to Kuala Lumpur and was presented there at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur.
Nick Wilton, Jeremy Gittins, John Nolan, Kim Hartman, Corinna Powlesland, Emma Francis and John Faulkner were the artists for this play; John Nolan was the director, and Norman Coates was the set designer. John Nolan has also participated in the Batman films Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, produced by his nephews Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan.
In April 2006, the BTP turned to the playwright who was recognised by all as 'The Master', Sir Noël Coward, with a production of his most famous play, Private Lives. This celebrated the 76th anniversary of the original West End production back in September the 24th 1930.
The play first featured from 18 to 22 April in Singapore (Raffles Hotel’s Jubilee Hall Theatre), and was attended by the former President of Singapore HE Mr S.R. Nathan and his wife Mrs Nathan, and the Minister for Trade and Industry The Honourable Mr Lim Hng Kiang and his wife Mrs Lim. Subsequently, the show went on tour to Kuala Lumpur (Hilton Kuala Lumpur), and Penang (Eastern and Oriental Hotel), and afterwards to Bangkok (Mandarin Oriental Bangkok), with great success at all these venues.
The play was nominated by the public for ‘Best Leisure Event’ 2006 Tourism Award by the Singapore Tourism Board.
Among the artists were Mary Tamm, Crispin Redman, Kitty Lucas and Nick Waring; the director was David Warwick; and the set designer was Nancy Surman.
The play was attended by the Founder of Singapore The Honourable Mr Lee Kuan Yew GCMG, CH, SPMJ and his wife Mrs Lee, the current Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore and then Defence Minister The Honourable Mr Teo Chee Hean and his wife Mrs Teo, and the former President British Chamber of Commerce and SE Director of Rolls-Royce Mr Jonathan Asherson. Then, the show was presented at the then new Hilton Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, where it was a sell-out.
The artists included Nick Wilton, Kim Hartman, Patrick Moncton, Louise Jameson (the first female character of Dr Who), John Nolan again, David Warwick, John Faulkner and David Mercatali; the director was David Warwick; and the set designer was Katy Tuxford.
Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest
From 12 to 17 October 2004, the BTP produced its second play. This was the world classic The Importance of Being Earnest by the acclaimed Oscar Wilde, at the Jubilee Hall Theatre of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore.
Among the audience, the producers were honoured to have the then President of Singapore His Excellency Mr S.R. Nathan and his wife Mrs Urmilla Nathan, as well as the Founder of Singapore The Honourable Mr Lee Kuan Yew GCMG, CH, SPMJ and his wife Mrs Lee, the Senior Minister and former Prime Minister of Singapore The Honourable Mr Goh Chok Tong and his wife Mrs Goh, the Defence Minister The Honourable Mr Teo Chee Hean and his wife Mrs Teo, and the then British High Commissioner in Singapore Sir Alan Collins who is also the BTP’s Life Patron.
The great success of the show led to the transfer of the production to the Greenwich Theatre, London, in April 2005.
Ursula Jones, John McAndrew, Harry Gostelow, Sarah Miller, Hannah Barrie, John Nettleton, Deirdre Doone and John Faulkner were among the artists; Robin Herford was the director; and Michael Holt was the set designer.
How the Other Half Loves
Sir Alan Ayckbourn's How the Other Half Loves was the first show produced by the BTP. The production was presented in the dinner-theatre setting of Singapore's Shangri-La Hotel from 27 to 30 April 2004 and was a sell-out.
The featured artists were Nigel Anthony, Louise Jameson, John McAndrew, Louise English, John Faulkner and Charlotte Chiew; the director was David Warwick; and the set designer was Katy Tuxford.
Contribution to the Community
Believing in considerate corporate citizenship, the British Theatre Playhouse is also well known for its contribution to the community via raising money for various worthwhile causes and charities.
In June 2017, on the occasion of Stars of the West End, the BTP organised a Charity Gala which led to the raising of SGD 31,200 in aid of the charity organisation Food from the Heart.
In April 2016, the BTP's Art for Charity gala for the play The Vortex raised SGD 52,000 for the International Committee of Red Cross as well as for Singapore Red Cross.
In January and May 2015, the BTP raised SGD 52,000 for the Breast Cancer Foundation through the charity galas that it organised on the occasion of the shows of Leo Sayer in Concert – 40 Years at the Top and No Sex Please – We’re British.
In October 2012, Salute to Sinatra raised SGD 72,000 for the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund. Earlier in April of the same year, Out of Order raised SGD 85,000 for the Business Times Budding Artists Fund.
In May 2011, the BTP teamed up with the British Chamber of Commerce and the European Chamber of Commerce and raised SGD 130,000 for Viva Foundation for Children with Cancer, on the occasion of the production Buddy vs the Killer.
In January 2008, the BTP helped to raise SGD 85,000 for Viva Foundation for Children with Cancer through the charity gala of the production The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.
In October 2008, thanks to the Blonde Bombshells of 1943, the BTP helped to raise SGD 97,000 for the Fund MILK (Me I Love Kids), in order to help disadvantaged children 'who fall through the cracks of social safety net'.
In May 2007, the BTP helped to raise SGD 35,000 for Make a Wish Foundation Singapore through the charity gala of the production Relatively Speaking. Make a Wish Foundation is dedicated to granting heartfelt wishes of children between the ages of 3 and 18 who are challenged with a life-threatening illness or life-threatening medical conditions.
In April 2006, the BTP teamed up once again with Singapore Tatler to raise SGD 80,000 for the Community Chest of Singapore through Private Lives. In November 2006, the BTP teamed up with the American Association of Singapore to raise SGD 100,000 for KK Hospital’s Regional Outreach to Kids Fund through the play A Bedful of Foreigners.
In May 2005, the BTP teamed up with Ikebana International and organised a charity gala to support the Canossian Home for the Hearing Impaired through the show Funny Money.
In October 2004, the first year of BTP’s operation, the BTP teamed up with Singapore Tatler and raised SGD 140,000 for the Community Chest of Singapore through Oscar Wilde's show The Importance of Being Earnest. In the April of the same year, the BTP teamed up with Ikebana International on the occasion of the show How the Other Half Loves and raised SGD 43,431 for Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Awards and Distinctions
In 2006, the BTP produced Private Lives and this play was nominated for the category ‘Best Leisure Event’ by the Singapore Tourism Board. Two years later, in 2008, the BTP was nominated and selected as one of the three finalists at Singapore’s 'British Business Awards', awarded by the British Chamber of Commerce. The BTP currently also appears in the distinguished website Doing Business in Singapore. Equally impressively, in 2014, Cecilia became the face of the advertisements as a 'Community Star' finalist in the 15th Annual Business Awards in Singapore.
On another note, Cecilia and John were also invited to meet The Queen and Prince Phillip on the occasion of the Queen's State Visit to Singapore in March 2006. This is important, as a hallmark of their long-standing promotion of the British culture in the area through the British Theatre Playhouse. In September 2012, Cecilia was invited to meet Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton when they officially visited Singapore.
Press and Media
Thanks to the very active production output of the BTP, the awards and distinctions, the contribution to the society, as well as thanks to the sponsors and partners each time, the theatrical and musical productions of the BTP have always attracted the interest of the local and international press. Some of the productions have been discussed in the local Singapore's The Straits Times, Singapore Tatler, The Peak Singapore, The Edge Singapore, Icon Singapore Magazine, Prestige Singapore, Time Out Singapore, Angloinfo, Expat Living, Affluent Media, Luxury Insider, Business Times, Angloinfo Singapore, Razor TV, 8 Days, Eurochamber's website for Singapore and Yahoo's Finance Singapore website; and the neighbouring Malaysia's The Star, The New Straits Times, Malay Mail, The Sun Daily, The Edge Malaysia, Malaysia Tatler, The Peak Malaysia, Prestige Malaysia and Vision KL; as well as in the neighbouring Indonesia Tatler. Others have also featured in the international issues of Forbes, The New York Times, The Daily Telegraph and Harper’s Bazaar. Likewise, there has been coverage by the international news channels BBC World News and CNBC, the TV show Prime Time Singapore of the TV channel Channel News Asia, the website Lifestyle Asia, the International News Media Association, the website of the Hellenic Shipping News, the radio stations Gold 90.5 FM and Class 95 FM, and many more.
The British Theatre Playhouse’s productions has always received favourable reviews too, for example by Angloinfo, The Flying Inkpot, Blouin Artinfo, GangMoh, and I Love Bon Bons.
Partners and Sponsors
Moving beyond the traditional business model whereby discussions start with the key people and companies that may potentially provide sponsorships and services, the BTP sees everyone as a partner, and each time all of them work together from different perspectives towards the achievement of a common objective, a successful theatrical or musical event, which will be mutually beneficial for everyone in business terms. So far, these partners have included the following:
- Supporting institutions and organisations: British High Commission in Singapore, British Chamber of Commerce Singapore, European Chamber of Commerce, Singapore International Chamber of Commerce, Singapore Tourism Board;
- Official Marketing Partner: The British Club, British Association Singapore, China Club, Tanglin Club, Tower Club;
- Presenting Sponsor: Coutts Bank, Citigroup, Cartier, Standard Chartered Bank, CapitalLand, World of Diamonds;
- Corporate Sponsor: AAM Advisory, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, SingTel, Pernod Ricard;
- Hotel Sponsor for the cast: Swissotel The Stamford Singapore, Marina Bay Sands Singapore, Grand Park Singapore, Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Hilton Bangkok, Hilton Colombo, Double Tree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Raffles Singapore, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, Hotel Majestic Kuala Lumpur, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, One Farrel Hotek and Spa Singapore;
- Official Venue: Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Hilton Bangkok, Hilton Colombo, Double Tree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Raffles Singapore, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, Hotel Majestic Kuala Lumpur, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Marina Bay Sands Singapore, The Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay; Cé La Vi Singapore;
- Official Airline: British Airways, Finnair, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines;
- Official Lifestyle Magazine: Expat Living;
- Official Luxury Magazine: The Peak, Singapore Tatler, Luxury Insider;
- Official Radio Station: Gold 90.5 FM, Class 95 FM;
- Official Production Partner: Insider TV;
- Official Outdoor Media Partner: SPH Media Box Office.
- Advisor, International Market. "British Theatre Playhouse Pte. Ltd. - Doing Business in Singapore".
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- Prince William and Kate Middleton arrive in Singapore
- "British Theatre Playhouse - Patrons - Professional theatre production company incorporated in Singapore in 2004 but is internationally focused with a strong British connection - SISTIC".
- "British Theatre Playhouse - Directors - Professional theatre production company incorporated in Singapore in 2004 but is internationally focused with a strong British connection - SISTIC".
- http://www.iconsingapore.com/events/photos-british-theatre-playhouse-stars-cast-londons-musical-charity-gala-dinner/=. Missing or empty
- Magazines, SPH. "[Photos] Let's Dance – Paul Roberts sings David Bowie by British Theatre Playhouse - The Peak Singapore - Your Guide to The Finer Things in Life".
- "HRH The Princess Royal To Attend Exclusive Event In Support Of The Mission To Seafarers Singapore - Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide".
- "British Theatre Playhouse - Past Productions - At BTP, we pride ourselves on high standards equivalent to London's West End and offer UK casts comprising prominent stage, television and film actors. Every one of BTP shows has featured stars from London's West End. - SISTIC".
- "British Theatre Playhouse - STARS - Kevin Oliver Jones, Billy Geraghty, Graham Lough, Bob Carlton,Peter Helmer, Matt Devitt, Steve Simmonds, Kevin Jones, Matt Devitt, Alexander Holt, Ally Holmes, Grant Dinwoodie, Sarah Whittuck, Maria Lawson, Jane Milligan,".
- Magazines, SPH. "Comedy play 'No Sex, Please – We're British' comes to Singapore - The Peak Singapore - Your Guide to The Finer Things in Life".
- "REVIEW: "Yes, Prime Minister" at the Raffles Hotel, Singapore - Artinfo". 10 May 2014.
- "The Mousetrap".
- migration (1 October 2012). "'I sound like Frank Sinatra'".
- "Charity Gala Performance of Out of Order".
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- ".: Association of Women Doctors (Singapore) :".
- Magazines, SPH. "Who attended Jane Seymour's Asian Debut in Theatre in The Vortex Art for Charity Gala? - The Peak Singapore - Your Guide to The Finer Things in Life".
- "Jane Seymour: 'I try not to let anyone upstage me'".
- "Jayne Seymour says Singapore's the perfect medicine for Dr Quinn".
- "Jane Seymour, Alex Spinney Shine in Explosive Final of The Vortex - Artinfo".
- Interview: Jane Seymour on her Return to Theatre with The Vortex
- "Agatha Christie's Mousetrap at Raffles...and What George Has To Do With It All - Changmoh - The musings of an English girl [angmoh charboh] in Singapore on style, food, life & everything in between".
- "Let's Dance Sponsors".