Anywhere Fest: Ma Ma Ma Mad

Merlynn Tong (Zen Zen Zo) has microphone in hand for her one-woman spectacular, MA MA MA MAD. Her other hand is outstretched to you, her audience. Enter Cyber City.

Q. Describe your show/s in under 25 words.
A. A one-woman dark-comedy offering set in a Karaoke bar that dives into the landscape of my mother’s heart as she enters the realm of suicide.

Q. Anywhere Festival is about making art everywhere. What makes your venue unique?
A. My venue (2002 Cyber City) is perfectly insane. As you enter the space, an Asian lady surrounded by DVDs and VCDs stares at you. Then the aromas of Chinese food awaken your nostrils. As ginger and garlic make their greeting to your senses, the melodious Chinese language and repetitive sounds of the arcade machines tempt your ears, beckoning you closer. Right at the end of the venue, in a tiny Karaoke room fit for only 20, we begin our journey. Gosh, I love this space! So central in the Valley, when I first stepped in 2002 Cyber City, it was like discovering a playground in my own backyard.

Merlynn Tong

Q. If your show were a new My Little Pony, what would it look like? What would its superpower be?
A. I have never watched My Little Pony before (tsk tsk Singapore!). [It’s a show, now? I must be stuck in the 90s. — Ed.] But I reckon this should have been on my TV screen when I was a kid.

Q. What’s your favourite karaoke standby?
A. Absolutely have to sing “Silent All This Years” by Tori Amos! I just have to add that my mother’s standby is “Yesterday Once More” — I’ve heard her sing this a million times when I was growing up. Her character in my show seduces the whole audience to sing this song with her!
MA MA MA MAD plays at 2002 Cyber City, Fortitude Valley, From 16 to 18 May, 2013. Anywhere Festival.

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