SSThe 14th Singapore Heritage Festival is my first. Before the weekend crowd sprawls in, among which are curious first-timers but also many repeat-goers, a few of us had the chance to check out the spruced up Caldecott Broadcast Centre (CBC).
CBC is specially opened to the public from 28 April – 1 May, and 5 – 7 May as part of SHF Takes Over!.I thought it’d be interesting to let film be the filter through which we traced the origins of Mediacorp, and its now-vacated quarters. Besides, the festival vibes are real.
Think buntings, neon lights on peeling places, makeshift exhibits under an open sky. The starting point of a race alongside communication and technology as we know it, yet a far cry from the gentrified likes of our garden city.
A wide, comfy grass patch under fairy lights makes the outdoor theatre, screening reruns of local dramas from Channel 8, Vasantham and Channel 5 which we grew up watching. Reruns Cinema will screen these trivia game shows, sitcoms and comedy concurrently with the other tours in the vicinity.
What I like is that the Mediacorp narrative is not forced upon visitors (imagine placards, posters, touting a 54 year-long history all around) but we are allowed to experientially revise the backstory of some cringeworthy yet heartwarming seasons of our pre-cable-TV childhood.
Expect lots of Instagram-worthy spots – both intentional and not.
One highlight is being on the last set ever built on site from Channel 8’s The Lead. The crew had left this old school marketplace up, and Mediacorp artists such as Xiangyun, Rebecca Lim and Kym Ng will conduct tours, recounting personal stories while walking visitors through.
Walking Caldecott (Free admission):
29, 30 April: 4.30pm – 5.30pm | 6.30pm – 7.30pm
1, 7 May: 10.30am – 11.30am
The Lead Special Guided Tour (Free admission):
Caldecott Broadcast Centre Props Store
6 May: 6.30pm – 7pm | 8.30pm – 9pm
This hideout on the hill is not to be missed. Sweet Tooth by Cake present Studio 6, where contemporary theatre practitioners re-enact best-loved comedies, comedy-dramas, variety and children shows. The preview was awesome. It’s a packed half-hour spanning familiar scenes and favourite episodes across genres and languages.
A live performance running parallel to snippets on screen, the cast breaks into song and dance, and does an amazing job reinterpreting stuff you would have seen on the telly decades ago! This is full of things you thought you’d forgotten, and also interesting sides of old Singapore you wish your kids would be able to witness for themselves.
Caldecott Broadcasting Centre Film Studio
Date & Time:
28 April, 5 May: 7pm – 7.30pm | 8.30pm – 9pm
29, 30 April: 5pm – 5.30pm | 7pm – 7.30pm | 9pm – 9.30pm 6 May: 7pm – 7.30pm | 9pm – 9.30pm
1, 7 May: 11am – 11.30am | 12.30pm – 1pm
Several last mentions:
The dynamic, versatile cast of How Drama is putting up a rendition of Fat Kids Are Harder To Kidnap, where they put up 20 plays in 30 minutes, according to and in order of what the audience wants to see.
For SHF, the quirky shorts are inspired by the world of broadcast. After catching the full version of Fat Kids last year, this was just as hilarious.
Fat Kids Are Harder To Kidnap (Free Admission):
Caldecott Broadcast Centre
Date & Time:
28, 29 & 30 April: 7.30pm – 8pm | 9pm – 9.30pm
Also, there’s Lip Sync Your Heart Out where folks are invited to – you guessed it – lip-sync your favourite once-embarrassing-but-not-anm tunes from 哎哟哟 老师 (Aiyoyo, Teacher!) and many more OSTs… you even receive a video as a keepsake. Do it.
Caldecott Broadcasting Centre Green Screen installation
28 April – 1 May, 5 – 7 May throughout festival hours.
Lots of food vendors worth exploring. I realised my ex-schoolmates were selling tofu fries (black truffle / salted egg yolk no less) at Tulou. Besides a variety of fusion foods to choose from, fellow young adult vendors are donning hawker hats and serving up classics.
SHF has made getting to Caldecott Broadcast Centre a breeze. Below’s the schedule for free shuttle bus service from Caldecott, Bishan and MacRitchie.