A walking musical tour that combines together a walking tour and exploration of the rich, colourful and unique Peranakan history, heritage  and culture of Katong. This is going to be a Uniquely Singapore 2-in-1 performing arts tour and travel experience that you would be learning and enjoying during Katong Dreaming: A Musical Tour.

The story behind Katong Dreaming

Katong Dreaming: A Musical Tour is created by August Lum, Marc Nair, Nicodemus Tan, and Valerie Lim. Produced by Jamie Lee for Betel Box Tours, and supported by Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and National Arts Council (NAC) Performing Arts Pilot Grant. Both STB and NAC seek to encourage the development and trial of innovative performing arts tours by tour operators. 

Let’s go on a Katong Dreaming Musical Tour!

Most locals and international visitors that know/heard of Katong, they would remember Katong and Joo Chiat districts for its colourful houses, sleepy streets, and of course, our favourite Singapore topic – food. However, it’s more than just that, how much do you know about the rich Peranakan history, culture and traditions that built up Katong and Joo Chiat districts?

When you embark on this 2-in-1 performing arts tour and travel adventure – Katong Dreaming Musical Tour, not only will you hear the stories of Katong and Joo Chiat districts as you walk through those two districts, admiring the architecture, colours and design of those old houses, you will also get to hear original songs, poems, and this movement set to an original score. 

Without further ado, follow me below and let’s go on a Katong Dreaming Musical Tour!

First and foremost, it begins with Bak Chang

First and foremost, it begins with Bak Chang. When you sign up for Katong Dream: A Musical Tour, the start point is at Kim Choo Kueh Chang at 111 East Coast Road. If this is your first time visiting Kim Choo Kueh Chang, I strongly encourage you to check them out. 

Once you finished your registration, collect your headset, listen to the administrative instructions, you are more than ready to embark on your unique 2-in-1 performing arts tour and travel adventure. 

This is where you start your Katong Dreaming Musical Tour, it begins with Bak Chang. Somehow, you might be very relaxed, happily chatting with people or dreaming about Katong, that you won’t know the musical tour has started! 

Do you know what is a Bak Chang, its history and origin? Listen to this “Bak Chang Beginnings”, written by Marc Nair, when you join the musical tour.   

Next up, It also begins with the Sea

After knowing your Bak Chang, it’s time to move out and explore Katong and Joo Chiat. Next up, it also begins with the Sea. Just a short walk away from Kim Choo Kueh Chang, walking through traffic light cross junction, experiencing your first back lane experiences, you would reach this road lined up with a very unique architecture and design, they are elevated terrace houses. 

The elevated terrace houses are what remain of how close Katong was to the sea. This might be your first time watching an outdoor performing arts tour. With your headphones on, listen and enjoy this outdoors arts performance play, “It Begins with the Sea”, written by Mark Nicodemus Tan, music by August Lum.

Do you remember cinematic Roxy Baby?

The older locals in Katong and Joo Chiat would remember the Roxy Cinema that once stood where Roxy Square is. An iconic and popular location with Katong and Joo Chiat residents, its history and heritage is not forgotten, written down in “Roxy Baby” by Marc Nair, with music by August Lum. 

Looking through Pintu Pagar

The iconic row of colourful heritage Peranakan terrace houses at Joo Chiat, along Koon Seng Road, have been popular with both international visitors and locals alike.   

The design and architecture of the have a feature known as “Pintu Pagar”, a half-height outer door that acts as a “fence” for the main front door when it is left open during the day, providing both privacy and security while providing ventilation.

When you watch the musical play segment unfolds in front of you at the Peranakan terrace houses, there would be curiosity building up inside you when looking through Pintu Pagar, what goes behind those Peranakan terrace houses?  

“Pintu Pagar”, written by Marc Nair and Mark Nicodemus Tan, with music by August Lim.  

See and experience the untold Back Lane stories

The back lanes of Katong and Joo Chiat districts are not exactly on most peoples’s mind and thoughts to visit. The back lanes may not be the most glamorous, yet they tell you many different stories, culture and living, as well as history and heritage. 

See and experience the untold Back Lane stories for yourself, it’s more than just street photography or architecture photography. 

“The Back Lane”, written by Marc Nair

We love our Coffeeshop Talk

We love our coffee, both Arabica and Robusta coffee. We love our Coffeeshop Talk, whether at a kopitiam drinking local Nanyang kopi, or at a cafe, enjoying our coffee time. Some kopitiam are more than just eating and drinking places, they are a cultural hub of people, gatherings and exchanging stories.  

“Coffeeshop Talk”, written by Marc Nair.

Do check out this video of Sin Hin, traditional coffee shop: https://vimeo.com/674832451 

What is Under the Banyan Tree?

The Banyan Tree, to most people, is probably just another tree species from the diverse flora and fauna on Earth. Not many people I reckon would know about Banyan Tree and its connections to the spiritual side of things.

What is under the Banyan Tree at the Joo Chiat Place Parking Lot? They are home to a few deity worship, place inside nicely built wooden box houses, visited and maintained nicely by believers around the district.

What is Under the Banyan Tree could be a mystery to some, it could also be a place of worship, only if you choose to see, know and learn about them, for both locals and international visitors alike.    

“Under the Banyan Tree”, written by Marc Nair and Mark Nicodemus Tan, with music by August Lum. 

Time for a Kopi O

As we are nearing the end of the Katong Dreaming Music Play journey, is it time for a Kopi O? You have now reached your end point: Betel Box Hostel. As you sit down, rest and relax from your earlier musical tour walk in Katong / Joo Chiat district, would you like to have a cup of Kopi-O to relax, unwind and chill?

“Kopi O”, written by Nicodemus Tan, music by August Lum.

Grand Finale is Here There 

The grand finale to wrap up your musical play journey, “Here There” is a twin cinema poem first developed by Singaporean poet Yeow Kai Chai in 2010. It’s generally read in three ways, vertically down each column, horizontally across the entire length of the poem. Read in all three ways, watch and listen to the Grand Finale musical performance. 

“Here There”, written by Marc Nair, with music by August Lum. 

A Huge Round of Applause for Katong Dreaming: A Musical Tour

As the Katong Dreaming: A Musical Tour drew to a close at Betel Box, the performers and organisers received a huge round of applause from all of us that walked, immersed, listened, watched and become a part of this musical play walking journey. 

We stayed back for a short while, chatting and congratulating the performers and organisers behind this musical tour. It’s not your usual musical play whereby you can mingle with the performers and organisers/crew straight after a musical play performance. 

Katong Dreaming is Not your typical musical play

For me a visual storyteller that has been documenting and covering history, heritage, culture and arts, somehow I am not that into musical plays or theatre performances. When I embarked on Katong Dreaming musical tour, I was brought into another world, that is not utopian, like a Time Machine ride from the past when our forefathers first stepped foot into Singapore, into the modern Singapore cosmopolitan city of today.

Katong Dreaming brings you on a rich history, heritage, cultural and travelling tour of Katong district in Singapore through an immersive and powerful musical play through a walk around the Katong district. Through this musical play, you can have a deeper and wider understanding about Peranakan history, heritage and culture.

A Uniquely Singapore travel experience for both locals and international visitors alike. I would like to encourage you to book this unique, enriching and immersive Katong Dreaming: A Musical Tour in Singapore.

I could have shot some videos as snippets of this amazing, mesmerising and immersive Katong Dreaming Musical Tour. However, I decided that I would like you to fully experience them yourself when you sign up for this musical tour. 

I would like to invite you, whether you are a local or an international visitor, to join this uniquely created and produced in Singapore musical tour, and be a part of Katong Dreaming: A Musical Tour!

Katong Dreaming: A Musical Tour

If you like to know more about Katong Dreaming: A Musical Tour, please visit https://katongdreaming.peatix.com/, you can book your tickets from there too!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katongdreaming/ 


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