Fair Play is a must-watch for everyone! Written by rising playwright, Thomas Lim, (who was last seen in Wild Rice’s Supervision and will be next seen writing their Christmas play, Peter Pan in Serangoon Gardens) it tackles an age-old question: How far do our genders define us?
Fair Play is set in a spiritual realm where babies go before they are born. There, they are assigned a ‘script’ by a ‘playwright’, dictating how they should go about fulfilling their roles as a Boy or a Girl. However, things stop going according to plan when two babies, a Boy and a Girl, show up at the same time.
The two of them look at each other’s scripts and start to wonder why they’ve been assigned certain roles in life or why they can’t swap them around. In one scene, the Girl notes that since boys have to serve National Service because they can’t get pregnant, can she serve National Service if she doesn’t want to get pregnant?
This is an especially interesting piece because it invites us to question what has been assumed as the default. For example, where did the notion that women should stay at home and be caretakers come from? It comes from the age of hunter-gatherers, where women did not hunt as they could bear children. But is this notion still valid in a time where both men and women can work?
It also challenges more common stereotypes — Why do girls play with barbies? Why do more boys take Maths and Science subjects? Is it true that there are more women child-care educators because women are simply just more nurturing?
There’s a powerful scene that shows us what happens if we don’t conform. While every other character has been assigned either a pink or blue script, a boy is assigned a purple one – resulting in some sad consequences down on Earth- all because his script differs from the rest.
Ultimately, Fair Play deals with an issue that we take for granted and assume to be a part of life in this society. Perhaps, if we do as the play suggests and go out into the world with a “blank script” free of stereotypes and expectations, we can make the world a better place, where people whose script differs from the others can be who they were meant to be.