Take a small-time Vegas musical, add Beach Blanket Babylon costumes, strain it through the Hokkien dialect, and you have that Singaporean mash-up called getai, a quirky, kitsched-up stage performance. 881 reveals a softer side of Royston Tan, the campy comedic who adores the quirky corners of culture that somehow resist better sense. 881 concerns the Papaya Sisters, Little and Big, who dream of winning the national getai contest, no easy task when those nasty Durian Sisters, like their name implies, have been stinking up the competition. Resolute in their desire to win, the two fruity friends appeal to their costume designer, Auntie Ling, to contact her estranged sister, the Goddess of Getai, who possesses supernatural powers. Ah, but power always has its price and in this case it’s the five rules of magical getai, one of which requires celibacy. Tan’s 881 is no jab at this jubilant pop form, but a jocular embrace of a persistent spectacle. The staging is boisterous, multihued, and gaudy and when the Papaya Sisters let loose with their atmospheric songs and celestial powers, it’s like a sensational Slurpee for your eyes.
Executive Producer: John Ho, Eric Khoo, Mike Wiluan, Daniel Yun
Producer: Tan Fong Cheng, Gary Goh, Ang Hwee Sim, Chan Pui Yin, Seah Saw Yam, James Toh, Freddie Yeo
Cinematographer: Daniel Low
Writer: Royston Tan
Editor: Low Hwee Ling