“Belly of the Carp  will lead you on a magical journey through a small  slice of Singapore's short  but vibrant history,  gaining an insight into the lives and loves of our forefathers who toiled  by the banks of the Singapore River.” BUY NOW!

From The Belly Of The Carp lends itself to dramatisation! The Glowers Senior Drama Group, based at Kampong Glam CC, staged a marvellous version  (in June 2014) incorporating a lot of dialects, which was highly appropriate, given their focus on the first part of the book dealing with the flood of migrants in the nineteenth century.

If ever  book was suited to celebrating Singapore’s 50 Anniversary, From The Belly Of The Carp is it!

Review by Richard Lord

QLRS Vol. 1 No. 3 Apr 2002

Back in early February, we were treated to a strong theatrical experience - The Belly of the Carp, which was Roger Jenkins’ stage adaptation of his own 1996 book of poems, From The Belly of the Carp. Jenkins also directed this the latest stage rendition of his Singapore-Literature-Prize-winning book.

Admittedly, this volume always packed a good deal of dramatic potential, being a series of dramatic monologues giving voice to the famous, the little-known, or the totally unknown (usually fictional) in Singapore’s history. In fact, most of these poems actually work much better in dramatic presentation than being read from the page. No great surprise there, as Roger Jenkins was already a highly seasoned theatre practitioner when he wrote this volume, and it’s not too difficult to surmise that as he was writing the poems, he was already thinking of putting the richest pieces on stage.

But let’s concentrate here on how well Jenkins and his talented cast have sliced and stitched to make this a most enjoyable evening of theatre. The programme offers quick sketches of various personages, real and imagined, for whom the Singapore River has played an important role. (The “belly of the carp”, we are to learn, is Boat Quay.) Starting with the unavoidable Sir Stamford Raffles and ending with a modern-day angler who plies his trade or hobby at night, then sits back to watch modern, high-rise Singapore re-emerge from the dark, this show provides a beautifully minimalist history of this island.


by Felix Cheong


by Ng Shing Yi

The Schoolgirl Kills Herself After Failing An Exam

by Gilbert Koh

Old Folks Home

by Gilbert Koh

Train Ride to Singapore

by Gilbert Koh

The Couple Next Door

by Gilbert Koh


by Low Ying Ping

Dutch Disease

by Peng-Ean Khoo

Hors duh

by Peter Loh

Mountain Air

by Jerome Kugan

Grandmother, The Bride

by Karen Low


The i-theatre website

External link.

Belly of the Carp website

External link to Dramaplus.

Luna-Id Productions

External link.





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