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Frago

by Lucas Ho
Checkpoint Theatre
Drama Centre Black Box, Singapore

Singapore marks fifty years of national service (NS) this year and it’s only apt that we commemorate this integral aspect of our local culture in the arts. Much focus has been placed on the two years of full-time service and particularly basic military training, a powerful experience that binds young men from all walks of life and turns them into real soldiers. Michael Chiang’s play Army Daze, Jack Neo’s film series Ah Boys to Men and television sitcom Yes, Madam all explore this coming-of-age angle through a mix of comedy and caricature.
But what about NS commitments beyond full-time service? Enter Frago, Lucas Ho’s debut full-length play, which delves into the rarely explored reservist experience. The title refers to a ‘fragmentary order’, a modified command where soldiers have to abandon their existing battle plan and react quickly to a changed set of circumstances. Much like the thousands of Singaporean men who get cal…

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