No Rice Ball? No problem. The theatre company presented four benefit performances of Don’t Call Him Mr Mari Kita in place of its traditional Rice Ball

For the second year running, theatre company Wild Rice was unable to hold its annual fundraising gala, The Rice Ball, which is much anticipated every year.

But unlike last year’s Virtual Rice Ball, the theatre company’s patrons, supporters and friends were able to come together—with safe distancing measures in place—at the Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre for The Rice Bowl 2021, with four benefit performances of Don’t Call Him Mr. Mari Kita on October 29 and 30.

A theatrical run for the new musical tribute to the late, great composer Zubir Said, who is behind Singapore’s national anthem Majulah Singapura and beloved classics such as Semoga Bahagia, had earlier been cancelled when Wild Rice had to close its theatre—for the second time this year—during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) restrictions in August.

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“It will literally be our ‘Rice Bowl’. Work is in short supply in our industry and it will be a long road to recovery,” shares Wild Rice founding artistic director Ivan Heng. The funds raised from the two evenings will contribute to the livelihoods of many who work with Wild Rice.

In true Rice Ball fashion, guests came dressed in their best national dress to the theme of Orang Singapura (People of Singapore), which is in fact the title of another of Zubir Said’s musical gems.

The production written and performed by music director Julian Wong and directed by Heng will hopefully make its way back into the theatre next year.

You can support Wild Rice here.

Click through the gallery below to view photos from the event

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