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"Emily of Emerald Hill": Singapore identity on Stage
Thursday, March 14, 2013 | 9:31 PM | 0 comments

Free admission for full-time students! 
The exhibition will begin with the genesis of Emily by looking at the personal and professional history of the playwright. The highlight of this section will be an installation of a stage-like gallery by Stella Kon, incorporating family objects and other works drawn from the collection of the Peranakan Museum. Emily of Emerald Hill has been performed by various actresses and actors and the exhibition will showcase these different interpretations through displays of original costumes, props, scripts, programmes, posters, photographs, and videos. The exhibition will also place this landmark play within the context of English and Peranakan theatre, or “Wayang Peranakan”, in Singapore. 

Till 7th April, the Peranakan Museum will be holding a special exhibition bringing the play Emily of Emerald Hill to life! By using real artefacts and actual situations linked to the play, the visitor will be able to immerse him or herself into Emily's life.

Starting from the third floor, visitors will be greeted with a showcase of the costumes worn by the 3 different stagings of the play. Surrounding the costumes are recorded interviews with the actresses and actor.

Production #1

Production #2

Production #3

Posters and Articles from the past 

Then, a scene of a living room is recreated with artefacts: some from the museum, and some borrowed from donors.  It is interesting to note that many of the pieces on display are from Stella Kon herself. The 2 ceiling lights illuminating the scene are one example. They are the only 2 out of the original 12 that have survived. Also, the portraits are of Stella Kon and her family. This is to be expected as the play was heavily based on Kon's experiences and way of life.

When I was reading the play, I had no idea Emerald Hill was an actual location! It was surprising to find that it was what Stella Kon called home. Pictures of the estate were on display and there was even a floor plan to show the extent of the mansion's grandiosity.

Going down to the second floor, visitors are treated to an interactive experience! From creating the stage using printed chops to wearing a costume and acting like Emily, visitors get to enjoy a variety of activities that allow them to get up close and personal with Emily and her way of life. 

Creating the stage! 

Read the play!

Watch the 3 different productions! 

Here are some other pictures of artefacts strewn throughout the exhibition:

Wedding Garment

Bibs for the children

Kitchenware: Moulds and Tiffin Carrier

Beaded Slippers (Female) and Embroidered Slippers (Male)

Pipe; Tennis Racquet and Brandy Glasses

Cherki (Playing Cards)

Kerosang (Brooches) 

The Peranakan Museum also offers 3 floors of galleries, introducing the various aspects of the Peranakan Culture. While Emily of Emerald Hill provides a glimpse into the rich Peranakan family, the museum showcases the vibrant and colorful culture of Peranakan that is seen from all walks of life. This intimate museum possess one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Peranakan objects!

For more information, visit!

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