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    Lesson on powerpoint   emily of emerald hill Lesson on powerpoint emily of emerald hill Presentation Transcript

    • EMILY OF EMERALD HILL STELLA KON A PLAY IN TWO ACTS Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 1 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 2 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Nonya kebayas and Peranakan baskets, jade bangles, beautifully embroidered sandals. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 3 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Grecian columns Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 4 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ROSEWOOD CHAIRS Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 5 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Emily of Emerald Hill Term 1 Week 6. 2008 Act One Page 7. Emerald Hill Mansion Balustrades Chandeliers Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 6 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Hinged wooden Louvres Bidet Mosquito nets Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 7 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Peranakan characteristics Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 8 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Peranakan women Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 9 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Peranakan Food Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 10 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Buah Keluak – indonesian black nut Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 11 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Belachan Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 12 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Buah Keras – Candle Nuts Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 13 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Daun kunyit – turmeric leaves Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 14 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Kueh Chang – Chinese Rice Dumplings Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 15 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Popiah – Spring Rolls Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 16 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Otak Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 17 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Sambal Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 18 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Tingkat Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 19 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Taugeh – Bean Sprouts Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 20 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Rempah – mixture of spices Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 21 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Blangah – round-bellied earthenware cooking pot Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 22 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Singapore in the 50s – 60s Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 23 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Emerald Hill Singapore Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 24 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Emerald Hill Mansion This is the old mansion "Oberon," at 117 Emerald Hill Road, which is remembered in the play. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 25 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Emily: as played by one actress Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 26 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Emily: as played by another Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 27 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 28 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 2 of Textbook There is only one character, Emily. She wears the sarong kebaya of a modern Nonya; jade bangle, brooches and ear studs, her hair in a bun. When the play opens she is in her mid-thirties, but during the play she will move back and forward through time and through a range of milieux – “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale for infinite variety.” Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 29 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 2 of Textbook The play opens in 1950. One set is used throughout the play. It suggests a Baba mansion built at the turn of the century; with plastered walls, covered to a height of one metre with ornamental tiles, interrupted perhaps by Grecian columns or marble statues. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 30 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • GRECIAN COLUMNS Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 31 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • EOEH: Page 2 of Texbook On the walls towards stage right hang group photographs of a large family, and portraits of the patriarch and matriarch; also a large oil-painting of Emily as a young bride, in full traditional costume. Near stage centre is a large chair of rosewood, inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Beside it is a similar occasional table on which stands a telephone. Two wheeled trolleys stand in the wings until needed. There is an “auxiliary acting area’ – a side stage, or merely the area in front of the curtains. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 32 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • STAGE DIRECTIONS This portion of the play is called the STAGE DIRECTIONS. Here the playwright introduces to you in some details what you can expect EMILY is going to be like. At the same time, the playwright also suggests how we should consider the play is being staged on the theatre stage. The SETTING is a suggested one. We have to use our imagination to move along with the play as it progresses. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 33 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • THE THEATRE Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 34 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • THE PERFORMING STAGE Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 35 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • SPOTLIGHT Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 36 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • SPOTLIGHTS FOCUS OUR ATTENTION ON THE ACTIONS ON STAGE. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 37 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • The Theatre Set Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 38 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • REHEARSALS ARE IMPORTANT. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 39 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • THE STAGE PROVIDES THE SPACE FOR THE ACTORS TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE AUDIENCE Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School SYF – Pressure Point Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 40 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 3 of Textbook Act One Main stage dark. Spotlight on phone beside large chair. Emily enters, picks up phone and dials. Susie ah! Emily here ah. This afternoon I’m going to town, anything that you’re needing? I’ve got the chicken you wanted from market; and I saw some good jackfruit, your children love it, so I bought one big one for you. What else you need? Ah, school uniforms for your two girls; I’ll buy the material. I will take the sizes tailor down the road…Ah Susie! Yesterday I went to Whiteaways to buy shirts for Richard to take to England, so I bought half-dozen for Freddy also: even though he’s not going to England he can still wear them around town…Ya-lah, I’ve got a lot to do, interviewing new servant, preparing for Richard’s party. I see you, ya. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 41 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 4 of Textbook Rings off, dials again – speaks in an upper-class educated voice, in amazing contrast to her previous manner. Hello, Adelphi Hotel? Good morning – may I be connected to the patisserie (a bakery-cum-cake shop) please? Thank you…Good morning, this is Mrs. Gan Joo Kheong speaking. I’ve ordered a birthday cake from you, for tomorrow; may I enquire when it will be ready for collection? Yes, the message on it is “Richard – many happy returns of the day.” And twenty candles. Thank you, then I’ll come in to collect it tomorrow morning. Yes, thank you very much. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 42 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • The Adelphi Hotel at North Bridge Road in the 60s. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 43 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 4 of Textbook She rings off, dials again. This time her voice is warm, friendly and relaxed. Hello, Bee Choo? Emily here. Just want to remind you, don’t forget dinner tomorrow night, Richard’s birthday. Ya-lah, the boy so big now, grown-up already, going to England next month. I asked him whether he’s happy to go, you know what he said? “Mummy, to go to England happy also – but to leave my home very sad lah!” Yah, rascal-lah dia. All right, give my regards to your mother eh, hope she’ll be better soon… I see you eh Bee Choo? Bye-bye. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 44 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 4/5 of Textbook She hangs up the phone. She calls: Richard! Richard, come let Mother talk to you something. Emily’s son, Richard enters; but all characters except Emily are unseen, and known to us only through her mime. Hullo boy-boy, did you sleep well? Ah, big strong sonny, tomorrow going to be twenty years old, eh? Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 45 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 5 of Textbook She laughs as Richard flatters her. Ya, “strong son, beautiful mother,” indeed… Eh, this afternoon I want you to come out with me in the car. I’m making five woollen suits for you at Chotirmall’s, I’m taking you down for fittings. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 46 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 47 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 5 of Textbook What do you mean not free this afternoon? Riding, I know you’re riding, I know you’re riding. You go up to the polo ground at five o’clock only. I bring you back here in time to change and get ready. I know all your plans when I make my arrangements. Eh, you want new riding boots, is it? True lah, it’s cheaper to make them here and take them to England. We’ll go to the boot- makers this afternoon, you can choose your leather and show them your pattern. Then we drop into the passport office; Aunty Rosalind’s husband who’s working there has got all your papers ready for you. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 48 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 5 of Textbook Now the party tomorrow – how many friends have you invited? Tell me who, Kok Beng, Peter, Joe… No, Richard, you don’t invite that Chong Soo Boey, samseng itu, he’ll get into trouble one of these days… You don’t be friendly with boys like that. I have told you before that I don’t like you to mix with him. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 49 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 5 of Textbook Richard you must not pretend that you don’t care what I say. All I want is for you to be a good boy and make me proud of you. If you mix with bad company I will feel very worried about you. Maybe that boy is not bad, but your mother is not happy, Richard. Better you don’t invite him to your party. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 50 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 6 of Textbook That’s my good boy sayang sayang. You don’t worry about your friend. After all in six weeks you will have gone to England and you will lose touch with him anyway, you both won’t remember each other. All right now. You get ready after lunch to go out with me. Emily watches Richard go. She calls to the servant, off-stage: Ah Hoon! Tell the driver, go and fetch the new servant to come to the house! Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 51 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 6 of Textbook Stage lights go up slowly to show the set. Emily raises her eyes and for the first time addresses the audience directly. This is Emerald Hill: this old mansion in a big compound, just off Orchard Road. My husband’s father, Mr. Gan Eng Swee, built it in 1902. In 1929, I came to the house as a bride of just fourteen years old; and since then I’ve lived here with Kheong (my husband) and our children, and Kheong’s parents, when they were alive. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 52 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Emerald Hill of Singapore Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 53 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 54 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 55 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 56 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 57 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 6 of Textbook There are six adults in the house at present, Kheong and me, two of his brothers and my two sisters-in-law, Mabel and Molly. I have Richard, Charles, Edward and Doris; Mabel and Molly have six children between them. And the servants – well I need two in the kitchen, two to wash and clean the house, and then there are the various baby amahs. And there’s the driver living in the quarters at the back with his family, and the gardener and his family too. What do you think, full house or not? I tell you, looking after all of them, no joke lah! Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 58 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 7 of Textbook Before the War the house was really crowded. Then during the Occupation we had to leave Emerald Hill and go to our sea-side bungalow in Siglap. When we came back, amboi (wow), what a mess the place was in, really sakit hati (upsetting) … Ever since then I’ve been clearing up and putting it straight. Now, 1950, I can say that the place is back to its former glory. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 59 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 7 of Textbook In the dining-room, I’ve hung up again our big glass chandelier, which I wrapped up and stored away before the War. The marble floors have been polished shining again; the balustrades on the wide staircase, that the Japs broke, I’ve found a craftsman to carve them in the same, twining vine-leaf pattern, as they were originally done in the good old days. At every tall window I’ve repaired the hinged wooden louvers, and hung up long curtains of printed English cotton. All the big, airy bedrooms have been replastered and painted; over each bed there’s a white mosquito net like a tent, and from the high ceiling hangs a modern electric fan that goes round and round to cool the air. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 60 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Mosquito Nets Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 61 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 7 of Textbook And you know what else I’ve done – I’ve built two new bathrooms, upstairs, with shower and bath and bidet, and the taps and fittings in gold, and colour matching throughout – one in rose pink, one in sea green. So I keep myself busy, running the household, looking after all the family. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 62 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 8 of Textbook Emily sits in the big chair and draws forward a sewing basket. She starts to take out her sewing things and put them on the side table; she stops doing this, to call the servant. Ah Hoon! Ah Hoon come! Where are you? Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 63 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 8 of Textbook She turns away from the sewing things to address the servant. Those new vests for Master Richard, put them in the sun to air. Get Master Edward’s scout uniform mended in time for his campfire tonight. The Third Mistress is playing bridge at eleven o’clock, tell the driver to bring the car round. Ask the Fourth Mistress’s baby amah to see me, the baby has prickly heat, she must use this powder. Is the new servant here? Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 64 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 8 of Textbook Emily rises and goes down left to meet new servant, speaks to her very kindly. So Ah Sim you want to work for me, I give you sixty dollars a month, and you have your day off once in two weeks. You work well for me and I will be very good to you, and surely we will get on very nicely together. You know how to wash clothes; you must put a lot of starch in the Big Master’s trousers, and all the children’s school uniforms. But don’t put a lot on my kebayas. Only just a little bit of starch on my kebayas, you do it the way I want. All right, you go with Ah Hoon now, she will show you around. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 65 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 8/9 of Textbook Emily dismisses servant and speaks to audience. So I look after the whole household, and I am the Mistress of Emerald Hill, just as my husband’s mother used to be in the pre-war days. My goodness, when I first married, I was so scared of her! I had heard so many stories about wicked mothers-in-law. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 66 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 9 of Textbook The stage lights are dimmed. There is a brighter area stage right, with small spots emphasizing the family portraits. Emily has put on a long pink baju (coat) in the style of the 1930s. She moves into that bright area and does a flashback to the past. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 67 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 9 of Textbook Yes, I was frightened when I first came to Emerald Hill. The mother-in-law was not my only trouble. I was my husband’s second wife – his first wife died three years before – and the wives of the second and third brothers were aged eighteen and nineteen, not prepared to accept a young bride as the senior sister-in-law. I was an orphan from a poor family; I was a girl alone, coming to a house of women who hated me before they knew my name. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 68 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 9 of Textbook Emily gazes at the wedding picture. My husband, Gan Joo Kheong, was the eldest son of Mr. Gan Eng Swee. He was twenty-eight years old and he had been previously married to a tin-miner’s daughter, who died without children. His father decided that Kheong must marry again; but this time he would marry a poor girl, who would be grateful, and humble, and not cause trouble in the house. Even better, instead of bringing in outside blood, he should marry a girl who was already related to the family…Mr. Gan remembered his niece, the daughter of his dead cousin Boon Swee, a girl with no one else to care for her. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 69 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 10 of Textbook I can’t remember my mother much. She threw me away when I was small; she went a bit crazy when my father took a sing-song girl as his second wife. My father went bankrupt about that same time, but that didn’t make him change the way he lived… Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 70 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 10 of Textbook Admiringly He was a fine, jovial man, my father. He was a great sportsman; I remember when I was about nine he brought home a big silver cup from the Singapore Tennis Championship. In the evenings I used to run to him and cling to his big strong shoulder, and I’d smell his special smell of brandy and cigars. Then he’d say: “Sing for your supper, little lady!” and he would pick me up in his arms and put me right on top of the grand piano. And I would sing for him the way he taught me… Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 71 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 10 of Textbook Emily sings in a childish little voice. By-and-by hard times come a-knocking at the door, Then my old Kentucky home, good night. Weep no more my lady, oh weep no more today We will sing one song for the old Kentucky home, For the old Kentucky home so far away. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 72 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 10/11 of Textbook When my father died my mother couldn’t be bothered with me. I left school and I stayed with one relative or another. One day the auntie I was living with called me and said to me, “On Friday you are going to be married.” Mr. Gan sent people to dress me in the red bridal costume, and deck me out with jewellery and the heavy golden headdress, and teach me what to do. One of his houses was prepared for the marriage ceremony. And that Friday I was married! The celebrations went on for three days, then I moved into Emerald Hill. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 73 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 11 of Textbook At first I had a lot of problems. Of course, I didn’t have a personal maid. At Emerald Hill, all the young Nonyas had their own servant to clean their rooms, look after their clothes, wait on them all the time. Not one of the sisters-in-law offered to let her servant help me. I asked Susie to let her servant wash my clothes. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 74 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 11 of Textbook She said, “My servant got no time, got too much things to do!” I washed my clothes myself. Twelve o’clock at night, I borrowed the iron to iron them. My husband didn’t know. She quotes husband’s perfunctory [Joo Kheong is just merely checking to see if she is all right] enquiry: “Emily you’re all right ah?” She nods and smiles tightly in reply. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 75 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 11/12 of Textbook So they tried to bully me but I didn’t cry: I never cried for myself. I went to visit my old school friend, Bee Choo; her mother was always very kind to me, and she found a servant for me. I told Bee Choo: “I don’t care for my sisters- in-law. The only one I want to worry about is my mother-in-law.” Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 76 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 12 of Textbook Emily draws the big chair forward. My mother-in-law used to spend her days playing cards with her friends. And when she did so, she liked to have one or other of her daughters-in-law standing behind her chair, to make her sireh and wait on her. (She was the real old-fashioned Nonya, spoke and wrote only in Malay, her teeth all black from chewing her sireh.) Before I came, Susie was the senior daughter-in-law, but she was so lazy: she would make excuse, my son is crying, got to run away. I said, “Oh Susie, you better go and look after your son. I’m so free lah, no children, I can help Mother.” I stood behind the old lady. Emily stands behind the big chair and watches card game. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 77 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 12 of Textbook “Neo, you want to drink tea ah? You want your sireh?” I made her sireh from her silver box and folded it and pounded it for her. “Ahyo Neo, cherki eh, tan chit eh?... Ah… Amboi! Mampus!... Ahyo, mak mau tombok kah? (Oh Mother you’ve lost. Shall I massage you?”) Emily stands behind mother and pummels her shoulders. Mother wins the next hand. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 78 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 12/13 of Textbook Ah, ah, mata cherki! Chot! Chot! Ho-miah-la Neo. (“You won. Good luck.”) So my mother-in-law liked me a lot. When she went to town in the big Studebaker she took me with her - Susie again didn’t want to keep her company. One day she went to the bank to take out her diamonds for a party. And that day she happened to be in a good mood so she took her big ring and she asked me, “Mau-kah Emily?” Shows big diamond ring. So she gave me her ring; Susie naik jah-kee saja. (Susie hit the wall.) Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 79 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 80 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 13 of Textbook And then my son was born: Richard. He was the first son of the eldest son, and the grandparents were very happy. Of course, I had a baby amah to look after him; only, sometimes, I would carry him and rock him to sleep… Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 81 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 13 of Textbook Emily rocks the baby; she herself looks young and tense as she sings him to sleep. Go to sleep, my little piccaninny,Brer Fox will catch you if you don’t…I’s a little Alabama coon,I’s not been born very long.I remember seeing a great big moonI remember hearing one sweet song…Go to sleep, my little piccaninny,Brer Fox will catch you if you don’t… Lights up. During next speech Emily takes off pink coat, leaving it near portraits. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 82 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 13 of Textbook I had three sons, father-in-law chose their names – Richard, Charlie, Edward. Then I had a girl; “I like a daughter,” my husband said, “call her Doris.” Not that he pays much attention to any of the children, of course. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 83 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • EOEH: Page 14 of Textbook When Richard was going to join Anglo- Chinese School I expected the father to bring him to see the Headmaster, after all he was from ACS himself, but he couldn’t be bothered. (Emily imitates Kheong’s brusque brush-off) “You look after it, you arrange it lah!” So I got to know the ACS headmaster and his wife. Through her I started making my patchwork quilts; she taught handwork to the girls at Methodist Girls’ School, and I learned from her. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 84 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 85 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 14 of Textbook Emily sits in her big chair and again turns to her sewing things. I never like to sit idle; even when I’m directing the household, I kike to keep my hands busy with something. On the table beside her she sets a series of plaited-leaf boxes in which are kept her patches, paper patterns, etc and she explains the work. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 86 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 14 of Textbook First you draw these six-sided shapes on paper and cut them out. Then you take the pieces of cloth and tack them to the paper pattern – fold the edges nicely – and when you have made a lot of the shapes, then you start joining them together to form the quilt. You sew with very small neat stitches – and of course you can choose the colours and arrange them to make a nice pattern. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 87 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 14 of Textbook This piece came from a brocade gown that I wore the time that the Governor came to dinner. This is a remnant from my dress for Mabel’s wedding. This piece was from one of mother-in- law’s old cheong sams. There were a lot of her old clothes left behind when she died. Susie said, “Nobody wants them lah, I’ll take them away to throw.” She wanted to make use of them of course. “Oh needn’t waste them,” I said, “they can be given to the poor.” I kept them and sorted them out. Some of them I did give to the Salvation Army. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 88 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 89 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 15 of Textbook By now after so many years, I’ve made quilts for all the family. Every night, each one of them sleeps all wrapped up in my patchwork quilt. Emily sits at her patchwork. The stage is dim with a low spot on Emily. Over speakers in the auditorium, we hear a pre-recorded tape of Emily’s voice. The following scene has been read softly and close to the mike and is played back at higher volume, thus providing a contrast in sound-texture to her speech on stage. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 90 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 15 of Textbook Mabel, you do look nice in that dress. You have such good taste in choosing the pattern, and my little tailor has made it up very neatly. Mabel, I wonder whether you like to let your Annie join Doris at Mrs. Swanson’s folk-dancing class? It would be so good for her figure, wouldn’t it? Doris would enjoy her lessons more with her cousin to join her. Lately she said she wasn’t satisfied with the folk-dancing, she wanted to transfer to Mrs. Swanson’s ballet class. I’ve seen those ballet-dancers on the stage, showing half their body naked, stretching their thighs… I told Doris she should enjoy the folk- dancing, with those pretty peasant dresses they wear: I’m sure Annie would like it too. Emily takes a new piece of patchwork. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 91 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 16 of Textbook Richard come with me. I’ll see to everything you need. You don’t have to worry about any problems, just let Mother do everything for you. You know how much I love you, and I want you to be happy. And I know you want to make Mother happy too. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 92 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 16 of Textbook Kheong, I’m going to make two new bathrooms and build a new wing onto the house. Remember your father always said we needed more rooms, I’m sure he would have approved. We can afford it, can’t we – Father’s rubber dividends are coming in. In fact Kheong, I think now you should make more investments. Not in property. Mr. G. P. Chee told me we could buy shares in some public companies, Whiteaways, Singapore Traction Corporation: in future those shares will be very valuable, he says. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 93 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • WHITEAWAYS AT BATTERY ROAD, SINGAPORE Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 94 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • WHITEAWAYS STORE at BATTERY ROAD Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 95 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 16 of Textbook A risky chance, you think? But I trust Mr. Chee’s advice, don’t you? You’ve got the sound judgement like your father of course: a shrewd businessman like you won’t let a good opportunity pass by. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 96 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 16 of Textbook Molly – wasn’t your husband coughing badly last night? Of course as his wife you’ve noticed it, but don’t you think he should see the doctor? Dr. Liew said it’s nothing, who is Dr. Liew? He should see the chest specialist at the hospital, I will make an appointment. I will boil Chinese medicine for him and you must see that he drinks it, Molly, you must look after him. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 97 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 16 of Textbook He’s that bad, is he, he has to go into hospital? Molly, you must stay at his side. He must have a private room so that you can sleep by his bed at night. I’ll send your clothes and food to the hospital so that you can stay with him all the time. A woman must look after her husband. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 98 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 17 of Textbook Kheong – they are forming a new Legislative Council – could you be a Councillor, if you wanted to be? You know so many people don’t you, if you talk to them properly you can be nominated. Yes of course you have to go to office, but you can spare some time to do this surely? You’ll be respected, people will look up to you. Councillor Gan Joo Kheong – it sounds very good. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 99 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 17 of Textbook Charlie, Edward, are you studying hard at school? You must work hard to be clever like your brother. Doris, stop reading. What, this girl forever has her nose in a book. Come and ehlp me in the kitchen, when you get married you must know how to cook and look after your family. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 100 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 17 of Textbook Molly, Mabel, during the school holidays we’ll take all the family to stay at our sea- side bungalow. The children can swim and play sand, we’ll play mahjong every day. I’ve bought an American barbecue grill so that we can cook out there on the beach. We’ll all just relax and enjoy ourselves. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 101 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 17 of Textbook Richard, you did so well in your Cambridge Exams. I have written to a famous college in London for you to study there next year. But of course you will like it in England, you’ll get on very well there, nothing to be frightened about. Clever boy, Mother is very proud of you. You will never do anything to make me sad, will you?... You’ll do everything that I want you to do. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 102 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 18 of Textbook Lights go up on centre stage. Emily puts away her work and goes to the back of the stage; she brings forward a wheeled trolley which she positions down left. Broad spot on the trolley. Emily opens hinged flaps to make the trolley into a long table. From under the trolley she takes a white tablecloth and various tableware. She talks to the audience as she spreads the tablecloth. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 103 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 18 of Textbook I like to entertain at Emerald Hill. Once in a while we give a big formal dinner, hire cooks and waiters, set out tables on the lawn. Or quite often we have a smaller party like this, I do the cooking myself. I set out the family silverware; it’s engraved with a capital G for Gan, and a jeweled mountain, the Emerald Hill. The old wine-glasses have the symbol too. I put out the Nonya china, some of it my mother-in-law inherited from her mother – must be over a hundred years old. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 104 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 18 of Textbook In the old days my father-in-law used to entertain a lot at Emerald Hill. Every Sunday he held Open House: this long table would be spread with food, and anybody at all could drop in for a meal. All of us daughters-in-law had to help in the kitchen, picking taugeh, cutting vegetables for the popiah – my speciality was my babi buah keluak. And sometimes in the evenings he would give a really big party, the whole house decorated with lights, a hired band playing in the garden. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 105 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 18 of Textbook We daughters-in-law had to serve the table. My mother-in-law didn’t really do much cooking herself, she had an excellent Hainanese boy as our cookie. But at these formal dinners she would stand and supervise as though she had done everything herself; and we daughters-in-law had to run back and forth under her eye. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 106 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 19 of Textbook From the back of the stage Emily brings dishes to table. All evening we’d be going in and out of the kitchen, taking away empty dishes, bringing out full ones. We’d be wearing our best cheong sams or evening gowns – frightened of spilling things on ourselves! Back aching, feet sore, hungry like anything! But my mother-in-law, she enjoyed herself at those dinner parties. There now. Quite a small function tonight, only a few of our friends; the party is mostly for the children’s sake. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 107 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 19 of Textbook The table is set. Emily steps back and goes to extreme stage right. She powders her face, puts on diamonds, hairpins, high-heeled slippers. The stage lights up, blazing brilliantly. Emily sweeps forward magnificently to greet her guests. (With overwhelming graciousness) Welcome to Emerald Hill, Mr. Lim. I think this is the first time we’ve had the pleasure of your company. Some of the other Councillors will be coming too. Kheong, here’s Mr. Lim, give him a drink and some makan kecil. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 108 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 19 of Textbook (With great cordiality) Hello Mrs. Ong, hello Johnny. How are you Mrs. Ong? How is your new house coming on? Johnny, you can go inside, Richard is at the back somewhere. Do sit down Mrs. Ong, try my prawn savouries. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 109 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 20 of Textbook (Aside) Richard, where have you been, you must meet your guests. Straighten your tie. Say good evening to Mrs. Ong. (Cordial and sedate to male acquaintance) Hello Mr. Chan – why alone? Where’s the better half? Bring her next time eh. Yes, here’s our birthday boy. He’ll be leaving for England soon. And then when he comes back with his law degree he can go straight into your office. Richard, look after Mr. Chan, in future he’s going to be your boss you know! Get a drink for him and maybe he will give you some good advice about how to study in London! Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 110 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 20 of Textbook (With real warmth) Hello Bee Choo! How are you? How’s your mother? Come in, sit down, have a cold drink. Try the makan kecil. Yes, we’re all fine thank you, Kheong fine too. (Dropping her voice) Hey Bee Choo, you know what I told you about Kheong? That’s the woman there, that whore Diana Lee. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 111 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 20 of Textbook (With alarming sweetness) Hello, Diana, are you looking for Kheong? He’s in the bar over there, do go to him, I’m sure he’s dying to see you; it’s full of men there but I’m sure that doesn’t bother you at all. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 112 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 20 of Textbook (With fake warmth, guard well up) Hello Susie! Wah, very nice embroidered blouse, where from? Hello Freddy, how’s everything? Ahyo, Susie, thank you for the present you sent to Richard. So good of you. You shouldn’t have spent so much. But Joo Chong is doing well, isn’t he, ever since I got Mr. G.P. Chee to support him. Mr. Chee is always so obliging to me, just because he was our father-in-law’s old friend. I don’t know why you don’t try to see more of him. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 113 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 21 of Textbook She flies to the door, she “manjas”. Mr. Chee! So glad you can come! I’m just waiting for you to be the guest of honour at the table. Ah yo Mr. Chee, no more “little Em-lee”, got such a big buffalo for a son, I’m an old hag already…”Fountain of youth”, pula! What about yourself Mr. Chee, never look a day older, you’ll see the rest of us six feet under…Really you look very well. I heard you went for new treatment in Switzerland ya?... Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 114 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 21 of Textbook Are you ready to makan? Would you like another drink? Yes-lah, I know what you like to eat, I’ve made my otak specially for your sake. Ladies and Gentlemen – shall we adjourn to the dining-room? Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 115 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 21 of Textbook Emily leads the way to the dining table where she stands, presiding over the buffet. Buffet style, eh, do please help yourselves. Roast chicken is there, sambal, achar, babi buah keluak, soup. Molly, please can you serve the rice… Mabel please see to the soup…Mr. Chan, fill up your plate. Mr. Chee – try a bit of sambal? Here’s the otak – and the duck soup. Ladies if you’re watching your weight you just rata-rata lah, eat dishes only, don’t worry about rice. Come, Freddy, Johnnie, don’t be shy boys, just gasak… Afterwards we’ll have a film show for you young people, I have got some Charlie Chaplin films. Kheong please will you set up the projector and the screen. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 116 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 22 of Textbook Doris, call all the young children to come – we’re going to cut the birthday cake! Come, Richard, ready to blow out your candles…Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to Richard, happy birthday to you! Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 117 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 22 of Textbook Main lights go down leaving the stage very dim. Emily rolls the trolley away into the wings. She removes her jewellery etc. She goes over to pick up the phone. Stage lights up. No lah Bee Choo, I haven’t heard from Richard for quite a while. Yah, he’s been there nearly two years now. He seems to be enjoying himself there. In his holidays he goes hiking in the country and riding at a riding school. In fact I tell you Bee Choo, I am afraid that he is playing too much and neglecting his studies, he failed his last examinations and he will have to sit for them again. Yes I am a bit worried about him. I must write and ask him to concentrate more on his work. Puts down phone. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 118 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 22 of textbook On the day Richard left, the whole family went down to Keppel Harbour to see him off. We went on board the big liner, P&O Carthage, and had tea in the saloon. The Indian porters carried his big trunks. We all went down to look at his cabin, the younger children climbed in and out of the bunks. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 119 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 120 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Keppel Harbour, Singapore 1949 Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 121 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 23 of Textbook “Bye-bye Richard! Don’t forget to work hard. Don’t worry about money, if you need anything you just write back and ask. Study hared, pass your exams, come back soon! You’ll have a good future, Richard, you’ll have a good career. Study hard and make Mother very proud of you.”And so he sailed away. What is he doing? Why hasn’t he written for so long? Ah Hoon! See whether that’s the postman there… Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 122 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 23 of Textbook Emily picks up a letter and reads it. Dear Mummy, I’m afraid you’re going to be awfully angry when you read this letter! As you can see, I’ve left the University and I’m in Salisbury now. I’ve started a job here that could become my permanent way of living. You remember that last summer holidays, I worked as an instructor at Mr. Green’s riding school. Mr. Green has offered me a permanent job as his assistant, and in a few years I could become his partner. Meanwhile I’m teaching the younger pupils and helping around the stables. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 123 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • SALISBURY, ENGLAND Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 124 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • A RIDING SCHOOL IN SALISBURY Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 125 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 23 of Textbook Mummy, I know you won’t like this idea much, but I’ve been thinking it over very carefully. I will work hard and save my pay so that I can buy a share of the business in future. The important thing is that I shall be standing on my own feet and earning my own living. I feel it’s time that I made some decisions for myself, and stopped depending on you for everything. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 126 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 23 of Textbook Please don’t be too angry, Mummy, because I’ve definitely made up my mind. I like working with horses, and I wasn’t ever very keen about going into Mr. Chan’s law office. Your son, Richard. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 127 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 24 of Textbook Emily abandons letter…is grimly silent for a moment. Kheong! You’d better read this letter. Ah Hoon, bring down my suitcase to be packed. Tell the driver to bring the car, to take me to the ticket office. No Kheong don’t waste your time writing to Richard. I’m going to go to England to see him. Boat? The boat takes three weeks to get there. I am going to fly by plane. Emily leaves the main stage for auxiliary acting area. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 128 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 24 of Textbook Salisbury? Salisbury? Excuse me, is this the Salisbury Riding School? I know it’s late but could you please show me where Richard Gan lives? Thank you…He’s going to get a shock when he sees me…Richard!! Your mother is here! Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 129 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 24 of Textbook What is this wonderful job you have, to throw away your education for? Instructor is it? You’re a syce in a stableyard! Is this all you care for all that I’ve done for you? You forget everything I’ve given you, you throw away all the sacrifices I’ve made, you drage down all my hopes into the mud! You trample on your mother’s heart, no love, no gratitude, anak cherkeh darah, you eat your mother’s blood. I should have hanged myself first, before I have a son like you! Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 130 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 25 of Textbook Oh yes. What is this famous job of yours? You think you’re very clever don’t you, going to stand on your own feet, going to be independent it seems! You think you’re going to save money do you? How much are you earning in one month? How much do you pay for food, clothes, tax? You’re not sure. You stupid boy, this man is just using you as a cheap worker to sweep his tai kuda. He offered you partnership hah? Have you got anything in writing? All right, trust him, wait and see… Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 131 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 25 of Textbook You think this place has good prospects do you. Will you listen to what I have to say? I am not saying this to hurt you - I never want to hurt you. I only want the best for you. I have had a good look at this place. The grounds are neglected, the buildings need repair. When I asked my way here, the place wasn’t well known. You think the business is flourishing? I see that he is struggling to keep his head above the water. Within a few years this place wil have to close down. And then what will happen to you? Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 132 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 25 of Textbook Yes, you’d better think of these things. If you go on with this scheme, soon you will be without a job, without any prospects. You will have thrown all my hopes down the drain - you will have broken your mother’s heart for nothing. But I don’t care for myself, Richard, it doesn’t matter how I suffer as long as you don’t ruin your own future, you understand? Richard, you better listen to my advice. You can still give up the job and go back to complete your studies. Think it over carefully, what’s the right thing to do. Are you mature enough to admit when you have made a mistake? Can you do that Richard? Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 133 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 26 of Textbook Ah yes, Richard. You have made the right decision. Tell Mr. Green that you can’t work for him, because your parents need you to go back to your country. He will understand. Then you go and finish this term at the University. I am very proud of you, Richard. You have had the sense to choose the right thing to do. You understand that my plan for you is the best. Smiling, Emily turns away and returns to main stage area. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 134 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 26 of Textbook So, Richard will soon be back in Singapore! Actually, come to think of it, why does he have to take his law degree? He doesn’t have to work for his living at all. I will tell him that he doesn’t have to go back to the University, he may as well stay here and start to settle down…I’ll invite Mr. G. P. Chee’s grand-daughter to visit us, she’s just back from Switzerland, a nice young girl.Ah Hoon! See who’s at the door! Who’s ringing the bell! What? A telegram? A telegram from England? What is it…? Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 135 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 136 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 26 of Textbook “Regret to inform that Richard Gan found dead – police believe suicide. Deepest sympathies, Green.” Emily stares blankly out at the audience. She speaks subduedly, as the lights dim. I never saw his body. His ashes were sent back to us. Richard hanged himself in his room, he hanged himself with the long leather reins that he used for training the horses…It was the worst shock of my whole life. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 137 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 1 EOEH: Page 27 of Textbook The Bishop conducted a ceremony, at the family plot at Bidadari. We told people that he died in an accident, falling from a horse. Everyone was there crying at the funeral…The other children did their best to comfort me. “We will look after you Mum,” Charlie said. “Don’t cry Mum. You still have us, “ Doris said. It was raining that day. There were lots of flowers. Mr. G. P. Chee sent a big wreath of white frangipani, ever since then I hate that smell…I have lost my big strong son… Lights out End of Act One Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 138 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • FUNERAL WREATH Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 139 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 140 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 28 Act Two Main stage dark. Low lights on auxiliary acting area. We hear Emily bawling, offstage. Ah Hoon! Ah Hoon! Open the door! Bring the basket! Call the driver! Tel him Nonya Besar wants to go to market! Lights up on auxiliary acting area. Emily enters, with marketing basket. Approaches fishmonger and harangues him. Hei, Botak! What are you doing ah! What kind of fish you sent to me yesterday? All rotten ones lah! Yes! How to eat ah? You want my family all go to hospital die ah? Mmh! You don’t know ah, how can you don’t know – all right. You give me good ones today. If not all right I bring back I throw at your head… She squats comfortably to examine his baskets. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 141 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 29 See your prawns…Cheh, all small ones! You have some good big ones hidden at the back somewhere, you bring them out for me. All right, five katis, how much? Four dollars, you crazy ah? I give you three dollars can already. Cannot lah, three-seventy too much also. Three-forty lah. All right all right, I give you three-sixty, enough lah. Send it to the car with my driver outside. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 142 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 29 She goes on to the next stall. Ah Soh! How are you, chiak pah boey? Ya I’m fine, family is fine, chin ho, chin ho. I want to buy sixteen cucumbers today, half a kati of long beans, half a kati of French beans. Yes, you guessed correctly, I’m making achar for the New Year. I have to make such a large quantity, we have so many people visiting the house. Give me four carrots and a small cauliflower and half a cabbage; bitter gourd, ladies fingers. Let me select the garlic and small onions, I like to have them all the same size in the achar. Yes, how time flies doesn’t it? Again it’s time to prepare for another New Year. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 143 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 29 She moves on to the next stall. Ai, tambi! Give me sesame seed please, dried chilli, peanuts. Thank you, thank you. Hai Mat, put all the marketing into the car and wait for me, I am just popping in to Cold Storage. She enters Cold Storage and assumes a posh accent. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 144 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Cold Storage in Orchard Road, 1950s Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - Secondary 2NA.2011 145
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 30 Good morning Mr. Chai. I would like to order one honey-baked ham for the Chinese New Year. Eleven pounds will be excellent, please deliver it to Emerald Hill. Oh, good morning Mrs. Schneider, how nice to run into you! Yes indeed, I shall send you some orchids for the Church Bazaar as usual. Not at all, with my sons at the Anglo-Chinese School I’m very glad to make my little contribution. Do give the Bishop my best wishes won’t you? Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 146 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 30 She leaves Cold Storage. She bawls: Ahmad!!! Bring the car!!!! Go back to Emerald Hill! Emily walks to the edge of the main stage. She addresses the driver. After this you carry Baba Tengah to office. Then Nonya Mabel going to play mahjong and Nonya Molly going to the hairdressers; you send them both before you go to fetch the children home from school. This evening Tuan Besar is playing golf after work, you make sure his golf-clubs are in the car when you fetch him from office. Then you remember, tonight Tuan Besar and I are going out for dinner so you be ready to send us at seven, and you tell your wife to have your coat nicely washed and ironed. Ah Hoon, carry the baskets in! Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 147 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 31 The stage lights go up on the main set. Several years have passed. A large framed photograph of Richard now hangs on the wall and there are a few modernizations such as a new fan or a television set. Ah Fong!! Have you finished sewing the dress for Second Mistress? Why so slow? Even with a sewing machine you take so long, I can use a needle and thread to sew faster than that. Quickly hurry up lah and finish it in time for New Year. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 148 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 31 Ah Choey Koon – now listen what I tell you! When you make the pineapple jam, you put in a piece of cinnamon for special flavour. Get the girls to start cutting the cucumbers for achar, and put them in the sun to dry. She seats herself and picks up her phone. Hello, Bee Choo, how are you? I wonder whether you are making love-letters this year, can you spare some for me? You let me have ten tins please. Of course, of course, four dollars one tin is fine, I’ll come and pick them up Wednesday then. Thanks a lot eh Bee Choo, bye bye. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 149 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 31 Rings off, dials again. Hello, Cheng Nam Soon, Mrs. Gan here. I want you to send a gift hamper from me, to Mr. G. P. Chee. Yes, two Hennessy brandy, two VSOP, and a small Australian smoked ham. Deliver it to his house and put it on my account. Rings off, rises. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 150 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Hennessy Advertisement in the sixties Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 151 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • SMOKED HAM Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 152 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 32 Mat! Kebun! Come two of you. I’m making ice- cream, I need you to turn the handle. Kebun, you chop the big block of ice to small pieces. Mat, put the pieces of ice in the bucket here – around the container – sprinkle lots of salt. Now you and Kebun turn the handle, round and round, yes, like starting Tuan’s old Morris long ago!Yes, every year I make the same ice-cream, with condensed milk and sugar, and creamed corn. This year I added something special, small thin strips of coconut flesh from very young coconuts – let’s see how they like it. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 153 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • MORRIS Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 154 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 32 Is it harder to turn? Is it very stiff now? Should be nearly ready… Ah Hoon, take the ice-cream out, put it in the fridge. Kebun, go and cut flowers for me, bring in my spider orchids and golden shower and vanda Joachim, I will arrange them in vases throughout the house. Mat, bring the big ladder – bring it to the front door. Hang up the red cloth – ya, ya, careful now. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 155 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • SPIDER ORCHIDS Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 156 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • GOLDEN SHOWER VANDA MISS JOACHIM ORCHIDS Yeo Yam Hwee - Prepared by 157 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 32 Emily uses a long bamboo to hang up the traditional banner on hooks which already hang above the stage. All right… so we’re all ready now for New Year. Emily does a flashback to herself as a young wife. She puts on the long pink coat. The stage lights dim slightly, spotlights pick out the old family portraits. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 158 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 33 I remember my first Chinese New Year at Emerald Hill. It was my first New Year as a married woman, and I had to give red packets to all the children in the household, and pay respects to my father and mother-in-law. According to the old traditional custom, the younger ones have to kneel down in front of their elders to pay their respects. But my father-in-law said we didn’t have to do this. He was English-educated, Mr. Gan Eng Swee, my father-in-law. In his time he doubled the family fortunes, and he built properties, and his sea-side bungalow, and his motor-cars, and his horses at the Turf Club. In 1936 he won the Singapore Gold Cup with his best mare, Miss Peterson, wah, he gave such a big dinner to celebrate. So he was quite modern in his ways, and he said we did not have to kneel down to him and mother-in-law. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 159 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • SINGAPORE TURF CLUB AT BUKIT TIMAH Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 160 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • THE SINGAPORE GOLD CUP Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 161 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 33 Emily “manjas” like a cajoling, willful little girl. Never mind lah, I want to kneel down. Father is very modern, but I am so old-fashioned. I want to kneel down. She kneels with joined hands. Father, Mother, I wish you the very best good fortune and prosperity in the coming year. Father, I hope that business will grow bigger and bigger – this year, can make another one million! Mother, I wish that your grandchildren can be more and more, and that the good cards will always come, and every game can sampai! Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 162 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 34 She rises gracefully, steps back and watches with side-long satisfaction. So the rest of the family also had to kneel down. My second sister-in-law wasn’t smiling very much, but my mother-in-law was simply beaming away…And then the younger brothers and sisters-in-law had to pay their respects to Kheong and me… Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 163 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 34 Emily takes her place beside Kheong in the state chair, with a girlish giggle. Now Joo Chong and Su-see must kneel down to us. Of course-lah, we kneel down to Father and Mother, now you must kneel down to us, Kheong is your elder brother what. Giggles.Must-lah! She turns with a little-girl pout and shake of head to amused father-in- law. Father, you see Chong and Su-see don’t want to kneel to Kheong. You tell them lah, they must show respect for their brother lah…So the old man laughed and he told them to kneel down! So Joo Chong and Susie and all the younger brothers, they all had to kneel down to Kheong and me. Hiding triumph, Emily accepts the homage of the brother and sister-in- law. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 164 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 35 Emily moves away from that spot and continues her narration about the past. Those were good old days, when Susie and Molly and Kheong and I were young. I joined their set when they went to their balls and dinners and dance-parties – “You must bring Little Emily,” the hostesses used to say. We wore our gowns from Europe or our modern-style cheong sams; we danced the foxtrot and the quick-step! In 1934 Mr. G. P. Chee gave a New Year’s Eve dance at his house. I have a cutting from the Singapore Free Press: “Mrs. Emily Gan was voted Belle of the Ball!” Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 165 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 35 During the day we had lots of time to amuse ourselves. We played a lot of bridge and mahjong. Susie and Molly joined the Chinese Ladies’ Association, they went to talks on Chinese porcelain and brush-painting. I didn’t follow them. Richard and Charlie used to study with a private tutor, and I sat with them. Later I took lessons myself, I studied English and French and classical Malay. When the boys started going to Anglo-Chinese School I got to know the Methodist pastor, Mr. Schneider, he’s Bishop Schneider now, and I became involved with their charity work. There’s a big hall up at the new school which is named because of our contributions, “Gan Joo Kheong Hall”. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 166 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 35 And then sometimes we would have a musical evening at Emerald Hill, we called it a “soiree”. Kheong would play his violin, Susie played the piano. I couldn’t play piano but I got a teacher to give me music lessons, and I learned to sing. (Susie sang like a frog.) Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 167 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 36 Emily performs at one of those soirees. She sings with poise and artistry: “The sun shines bright on the old Kentucky home, ‘Tis summer, the meadow is bright –By-an-by hard times come a-knocking at the door. Then my old Kentucky home good night. Weep no more my lady, oh weep no more today, We will sing one song for the old Kentucky home, For the old Kentucky home so far away.” Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 168 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 36 Those were the years when the children were all growing up. Richard was at the Anglo-Chinese School as I told you. And so was Susie’s son Freddy, they were in the same class. Richard, come show me your report card. Heh, what is this red mark…for mathematics? Why so bad? You’re not studying hard ah? A for history and for French. That’s better. What is your class position – eight? Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 169 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 36 Dropping for voice What was Freddy’s position? Eleventh? How did he do in mathematics…? Failed also? All right lah – you did quite well. Good boy, Mamma give you five dollars to spend. What else? … All right, Mamma will buy those roller skates from Robinsons. She takes the report card to the side of the big chair. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 170 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ROBINSON DEPARTMENT STORE at RAFFLES SQUARE, SINGAPORE Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 171 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 37 Father (referring to her father-in-law) , you want to see Richard’s report card? Not too bad lah – of course he only came in eighth in the class. Ah, Susie, how is Freddy doing, has he improved in his mathematics? Ya-lah, true, Richard’s maths not strong also, after all he is younger than Freddy. Father, have you seen Freddy’s report by the way? What was his class position? Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 172 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 37 My father-in-law was starting to get old, he was talking about making his will. He wanted the estate to stay in one piece till the next generation, so we expected that he would leave it to his grandsons. My Richard was the eldest son of the eldest son, of course he should have got the biggest share of the property. But Susie said that her Freddy should get it because he was the oldest grandson. She was always trying to get on Father’s good side. I heard her telling Father: “Father, my friends say that Freddy is growing up to be handsome boy ah. My friends say that he looks just like you lah! I think this son of mine really takes after the grandfather lah.” Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 173 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 37 Hmmh! Takes after the grandfather pula… Richard! After school today, you go with me to visit Uncle Ben. Yes, Uncle Ben who plays polo: He’s going to teach you how to ride. Kheong, Richard has been taking riding lessons: I want to get him a little pony, Ben will advise me how to buy one. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 174 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 175 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 37 Father, did you hear that we buying Richard a pony? Yes, he has been taking riding lessons, Ben says that he has a natural ability for it. And he has such a love of horses, so we are buying him a little pony. And next time when he is older, perhaps he can ride in amateur racing. Oh yes, perhaps he can even ride one of your horses for you. That would be wonderful. Perhaps your grandson can win another Gold Cup for you. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 176 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 38 There’s a photo of Richard sitting on Miss Peterson, with the old man standing by. Stage lights dim. Spot on Emily. She removes pink coat. My father-in-law died just before the War; and when the will was read, he left the house and the big share of the property…to Richard. When Richard died, all his property went back to his parents – and then when Kheong died it came back to me. In the end – after paying death duties and taxes and everything – I am the owner of Emerald Hill. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 177 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 38 Emily wheels forward a trolley which she positions downstage centre. On it are various kitchen utensils: stone pestle and mortar; circular chopping block and chopper; kuali (wok); clay cooking pot (blangah). Stage lights are low except for a broad spot on the trolley. Emily, addressing audience directly, demonstrates her recipe. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 178 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 38 I’m going to show you how I make my famous babi buah keluak (pork with Indonesian black nuts). This is the buah keluak, this black sort of nut. It comes from Java and when you buy it it’s dirty and muddy, so you have to scrub it with a brush till all the mud’s gone and then you soak it in water overnight to soften it. Then you cut open the top of the nut, and you soak it again for about one hour. Then you can cook it with the babi. And when you eat it you use a small spoon to scrape out the flesh of the nut, and the flesh is black and oily and rich. Ahyo, sedap sekali – like opium! Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 179 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 39 So this is how I do it. I take about five katis of good pork ribs, and forty or fifty of the buah keluak. Then I start with the rempah (mixture of spices). I pound up the spices, serai (lemon grass), daun kunyit (turmeric leaves), lengkuas (galingale), a few buah keras (candlenut), some belachan. And chillies and onion. Then I fry the rempah in the kuali, not too hot, keep on stirring it back and forth till the oil starts to come to the top again. Then put in the buah keluak and fry it a little bit and put in the pork ribs. Then put in some asam (tamarind) water and salt, and transfer it to the blangah and leave it to simmer very slowly. And you know what else I like to add in – I put in a few pieces of rock sugar, one piece at a time. Ah yah. Very nice. This is my husband’s favourite, he simply loves it; he’ll sit down and pour the gravy on his rice, and he’ll take so many helpings. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 180 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 39 Emily takes the chopper and starts chopping the pork. She stops for a moment and looks challengingly at the audience. And when I’ve finished cooking this, I’ll put it in a big pot and send it over to my husband’s mistress’s house. Oh yes, he’s left my house and he’s staying with his mistress in Amber Road. That whore Diana Lee. But I send him special food from day to day, and his clean clothes, and the driver brings back his dirty clothes for my amah to wash. No matter what he does, I still am his wife, I must continue to look after him. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 181 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 40 Emily turns to her cooking. The spot on her dims slightly. As she goes about chopping, pounding, frying, we hear a prerecorded tape of her voice. The sounds of food preparation, perhaps largely mixed, punctuate the narrative without interrupting it. What do you do when a husband goes astray? If you grumble and complain, he is not going to change his ways. He will still continue just as he likes. If you keep quiet, he feels very free: “My wife doesn’t mind, she gives me licence!” if you make a scene, you yell and shout, then, he has an excuse to get angry! “Oh, my wife is such a shrew, no wonder I can’t stay with her!” Mampus, you’re finished! Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 182 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 40 For more than a year now, Kheong has been seeing that whore, Diana Lee, on and off. Lately he’s more gatal. He says he has dinners and functions, coming back very late; he even had two outstation trips to Malacca, business trips it seems! He thinks I’m blind? Stupid fool, he leaves his car parked near her house – right next to Chinese Swimming Club. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 183 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • CHINESE SWIMMING CLUB, SINGAPORE Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 184 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 40 I’ve had enough of his nonsense It’s time I said something to him. (Brazenly) Kheong, what function are you going to tonight? Recreation Club dinner? That’s a funny thing, I am also going there with Bee Choo and her mother. Why don’t you come in our car instead of driving by yourself? That’s fine, we leave at seven o’clock. Oh yes, what are you doing tomorrow evening?I want to let him know that he cannot get away any more. He cannot continue to live in my house, and see his whore. See what he wants to do about it. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 185 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 41 Right, you are going out now, you will be home late. You won’t be home tonight? Oh, where will you be? When will you be coming home? Oh, you want me to shut up. Surely, I will keep quiet – you don’t have to tell me anything. Time passes. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 186 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 41 Hello Bee Choo, nice of you to come over…Yes, I’m fine thank you…Ya lah, Kheong is living in Amber Road with that woman. Sometimes he comes home to see the children, doesn’t want to talk to me. I don’t know how can he do this to his family, Bee Choo? I think he wouldn’t have done something like this when Richard was alive. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 187 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 41 (With saintly resignation) What can I do Bee Choo, I just go on living my life as usual, and I keep on doing my duty. He wants me to give him a divorce. Why should I give him a divorce? I am his wife, whatever he has done, I have not done anything wrong. Ah Hoon, take the soup from the kitchen, it’s in the tingkat, give it to the driver. Put Baba’s clothes for golf in the car also, today he is due to play at the Island Club. Tell the driver to take the things to Amber Road, and bring back any dirty clothes and remind Baba that on Friday he has to go for his meeting of the Legislative Assembly. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 188 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ISLAND CLUB, SINGAPORE Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 189 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 41 All his fellow Assemblymen know what he’s doing. All his friends know. They won’t tell him he’s wrong – they all stick together, a man has his pleasures, they say – but he will know what they think as they look at him. “Gan can have his fun with his mistress, but he is treating his wife badly. She is a fine woman, a good wife and mother. The way he has behaved to her is shameful…” Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 190 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 42 What can that Diana do for him? The modern woman, working all day in an office, does she have time to look after him properly? I wonder how she attracted him; she must have used magic charms from the Siamese priest. Diana Lee. Can he take that whore out with him to go for formal functions? Can he bring his friends back to her house – can he invite people there?... Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 191 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 42 Every year since the War ended, on the fifth of September, he gives a big dinner here to celebrate the end of the Occupation. He makes it an occasion to invite his business associates, and the other Assemblymen, and the Governor. What is he going to do this year? By now Emily has got all her ingredients into the blangah; she stands and watches it simmering. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 192 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 42 Kheong! If you can just spare me a few minutes, I have to discuss something with you. I am making arrangements to rent the marquee and tables for September the fifth. I am hiring the extra staff we need for the dinner. If you want to carry on with the function, you’d better ask your staff at the office to send out the invitations. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 193 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • A MARQUEE Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 194 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 42 He sent out the invitations. I made all the arrangements and prepared the house. And two days before the dinner he came home, bringing his clothes and his shoes and his golf-clubs, and put them back in his room. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 195 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 43 Emily has removed her pot from the fire and is stirring it, lasting it. Yes. Next day the Singapore Free Press reported the social event: “Mr. and Mrs. Gan Joo Kheong gave a splendidly- attended dinner at their residence, Emerald Hill.” Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 196 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 197 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 43 Broad spot on Emily brightens. With a flourish she lays down her cooking spoon: stands for a moment in triumph. Then briskly she trundles the trolley away from the stage, she returns to stand downstage and continues the narrative “live”. Kheong never went astray again, from that day till he died. But the next year, he did not give any party on the fifth of September. He started spending more and more of his free time at his club, playing mahjong, losing a lot of money. In fact he was at the Club when he had his heart attack and collapsed, and they took him straight to the Hospital… Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 198 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 43 Kheong! Kheong!Which ward is he in? Is he awake now? Can I talk to him? …Oh, Needs to rest, does he? Well of course I mustn’t disturb him if he can’t see anyone yet. I’ll come back tomorrow. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 199 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 43 What, I still can’t see him? What’s wrong, is he very bad? Not bad but he needs complete rest – surely a short visit for a few minutes won’t hurt him – well I suppose I must listen to the doctor. You’ll give him the soup I brought won’t you. What’s wrong, what won’t they let me see him…Charlie! Where were you? Were you inside the ward? They told me your father is too sick to see anyone. What do you mean he asked to see you? They’ve been telling me he’s unable to have any visitors at all… Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 200 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 44 Emily tries to force her way into the ward. Doctor! I want to see my husband! What do you mean by keeping me out of his room? How dare you keep me away from him? What do you mean, he doesn’t want to see me…I’m his wife don’t you know that?... I don’t believe it. I don’t believe he said that. He must be ill and out of his mind…Well if he’s getting so upset about it I suppose I better not see him just now. I’ll leave him alone for the present. When he recovers, I will come in and look after him… Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 201 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 44 Kheong died in the hospital. Everybody came to the funeral, all his friends and eminent colleagues… I suppose not many of these people knew, that when he was dying, he refused to see his wife. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 202 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 44 The stage grows completely dark; the spotlight on Emily narrows. She wanders across to look at her own childhood portrait, picking up the pink coat that lies under it. Perhaps for the first time, her voice is subdued, filled with pain. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 203 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 44 When my father died my mother went away and left me behind. I remember I was in her room and she came in, started packing up her clothes. “I can’t look after you!” she said. “Why am I so unlucky, I don’t have a son to take care of me? I only have a useless girl like you. What were you born for?” I cried to her: “Ma! Take me with you! Ma! Take me with you!” She pushed me back into the room and went away. From that time on I lived with one relative of another, doing housework and kitchen work, and they would say to me: “We took you out of the gutter, when your mother threw you away.” From when I was ten, I lived like that for four years, until they sent for me to be married to a man twice my age. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 204 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 45 Directly to audience Do you understand what made me what I am? Before my breasts were grown, I learned that a woman is nothing in this world that men have made, except in the role that men demand of her. Your life is meaningless, you have no value, except as you are a wife and mother. Look after your husband and family, yes: do everything for them, wrap them, bind them in the web of your providing, till they can’t lift a finger to help themselves: so that husband and son and sister-in-law must all depend on you, so that you control them and keep them in the palm of your hand. So that the whole world knows your worth – so that a screaming girl-child, long ago, may be reassured that her life has some significance, that no one is going to throw her back into the gutter. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 205 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 45 Richard, I was a good mother to you! Kheong, I was a good wife! Why did you both hate me then? I didn’t do anything wrong!Emily looks down to see that the pink coat has been crushed and wrung unheedingly in her clenched hands. She opens her hands and smoothes the cloth, and gently puts the coat away as though putting a hurt child to rest. Stage lights up. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 206 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 46 It’s all over now. It’s all past, It can’t be changed…The children are all growing up and moving away. Molly and Mabel have gone to live with their children in new modern flats. Charles is building his own house in Clementi Road, jawoh sahja. Soon there won’t be so many people in Emerald Hill, so I have told Doris that after she’s married she and her husband must continue to live here with me. I have spoken to the Ling boy’s parents and we all agree on it. Right now Doris is in the USA visiting her Auntie. Charles has a little boy, Bin Seong. His wife is out teaching during the day so my grandson is left at home with me… Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 207 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • EMERALD HILL TODAY Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 208 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 46 Emily plays with her little grandson. We may note that she is more relaxed and kindly than with her own children. Come Bin-bin…Porpor play with you… (Pinching game) “Chubit-chubit semut, siapa sakit naik atas!” Come, that’s right, go up on top ya… “Chubit-chubit semut, siapa sakit naik atas…ohh!” Ayo, sayang anak chu-chu. Come, good boy, time to go to sleep. (Pats baby’s bottom rhythmically) Du du du. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 209 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 47 She croons. I’s a little Alabama coon, I’s not been born very long. I remember seeing one great big moon, I remember hearing one sweet song As l lay upon my Mammy’s knee, This was the song she sang to me – Go to sleep, my little piccaninny, Brer Fox will catch you if you don’t.Slumber on, Mammy’s little baby, Mammy’s little Alabama coon! Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 210 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 47 Emily turns away from the sleeping baby. The phone rings. She answers it. Doris? Hello Doris, yes, Mother here. Where are you calling me from? Washington! What are you doing in Washington, I thought you were with Aunt Lucy in Philadelphia…What did you say? You’re going to get married? What are you telling me Doris Gan…? Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 211 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 47 Steve Jackson: an American is he? How long have you known him?... Six weeks? Oh you’ve made up your mind have you – you don’t care if I don’t send you money – you’re going to be independent, are you? And after that, do you think you’re coming back to Singapore? Emily takes receiver from her ear in distress. Then she seems to think. Wait a minute, Doris. Let me think about it. Don’t cry, girl! Let Mother think. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 212 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 48 Doris, why do you want to marry this man? You’ve only known him a short time – is it because you want to stay in America? You don’t want to come back home?All right, you listen to me Doris. I don’t forbid you to get married. I will send you some money to support you there. But I advise you – I – I beg you as your mother – to wait before you get married. You don’t have to come home. You can stay in America, study there, anything. After one year, if you still want to marry Steve, you go ahead, I won’t object. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 213 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 48 All right, you don’t worry about the Ling boy, I’ll explain to his parents. But will you please wait for a while, Doris?... Yes. Live your own life. Make your own decisions. But don’t rush into marriage just because you want to escape from me…All right Doris. You wait a few months. Keep in touch with Aunt Lucy. I will send you money. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 214 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 48 Slowly Emily sets down the receiver, and opens her hand with a gesture of releasing, of setting free. The lights go down slightly.Emily puts on a pair of spectacles. She seems older. When Charles got married, I gave a very big party at Emerald Hill. I hired cooks and waiters; there were forty tables set out on the lawn under a big marquee, the whole house was flood-lit, and a brass band played all night beside the goldfish pond. Then he went to his house in Clementi Road. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 215 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 49 Next Edward got married, I gave another big dinner. Then he went to live in Ang Mo Kio – alamakgua, Ang Mo Kio, right in the ulu, middle of nowhere. So the house is a bit quiet now, but I can still go out in the car with the driver to do my shopping and call on me, and Mabel’s children and Molly’s children come to visit the old auntie. Hullo Annie, nice of you to drop in. How’s your son? Seven years old already, when are you going to have another one?... Don’t want any more! You believe in small families, better opportunity for them!... Eh, theses modern ways of thinking tsk tsk… Well, how’s your mother? She went to Aunty Bee Choo’s place the other day – why is Aunty Bee Choo worried? No place to stay? Her house is going to be demolished and she can’t afford to go somewhere else? I know she doesn’t have much money. But you can’t simply give charity to people…All right Annie, thanks for telling me. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 216 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 49 Emily taps her ringed finger reflectively. She picks up her phone. Hello Mr. Fang, this is Mrs. Gan here, that’s right, your landlady. Mr. Fang, your lease with me is expiring at the end of the year; I called to tell you that I’m afraid I can’t renew your lease next year. Yes, my daughter will be coming back from America and she wants to stay in the house. So sorry ah, now l let you know, next year I want to take back the house. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 217 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 50 She rings off and dials again. Bee Choo, this is Emily here, how are you? Fine here…Bee Choo, I want to ask you a favour, can you help me with something? You know I have a house in Sennett Estate, I’ve been renting it out to a tenant. Now this stupid tenant says he doesn’t want to continue the lease, jelaka dia, and the house will be empty. So I think I don’t want to rent out the house again, too much trouble only. I think I’ll keep it vacant for a while, maybe if Doris wants to come back from America she can make use of it. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 218 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 50 Meanwhile, I just want someone to stay there and keep the place clean for me, just pay a nominal rental. So I wonder whether you can help me look around for someone suitable – someone clean and decent… The trouble is that I cannot trust just anybody to stay there and look after the house well…What, Bee Choo? You want to stay there? I say man that would be ideal. But how can you give up your own house to take care of my placea?...You are leaving your house? Oh – are you sure you want to stay in my house? Well that would be wonderful. That would be a weight off my mind. Thank you so much Bee Choo. You’ve always been so helpful to me. Thank you, ah. Emily puts down the phone. Thoughtfully, she picks up an airmail letter from the table and holds it at arm’s length to read it. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 219 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 220 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 221 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 50 “Dear Mother, Well, Benjamin and I will be building our own house next spring, a little way out from Philadelphia, and I hope you will come out to see it. You were quite right, Steve would have been a disaster for me. I am very, very happy with Benjamin and with his whole wonderful family, his mother is so good to me. My only regret is that I do miss all at home. Especially most of all, Mother, I – miss you and I love you. Doris.” Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 222 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 51 Calls servant: Ah Sim! Come let’s start making the kueh chang. Every year, fifth month, I make for all the family and distribute to all their houses. Bring the leaves to wrap the kueh chang. What do you mean, not ready? Didn’t I tell you yesterday, get the leaves washed and dried so that I can make kueh chang today? What were you doing all day yesterday? I was out the whole day playing mahjong, you had nothing to do, you just sit in the house shaking legs? A lot of work? Where do you have a lot of work, with just me, one person in the house to take care of. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 223 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 51 If you can’t do the work you can get out, your hear me? What else did you do yesterday?... You washed my clothes. And again you put too much starch in my dress. How many times do l have to tell you, you got no ears or what? All right, you don’t like to work for me you can get out! Off you go! Yes, I give you your money and you go, you don’t stay on here, such a useless creature I have never seen – so idle, so bone-lazy… Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 224 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 51 Emily, having chased the servant off-stage, returns grumbling to make a phone-call. Hello Susie! Anchua? I just sacked that useless servant of mine. Yes I know Mrs. Ong has a girl who is looking for work. I will interview her tomorrow. You also looking for a servant? Freddy’s wife wants a new amah? Ahyah, good servants are so hard to find these days, but I will find one for your… Oh, is she expecting again? That will be their fifth child… Yes, Susie, in the old days we had big families but nowadays that’s considered very old-fashioned. Today people believe in small families and better opportunities. Yes, all right Susie. I’ll see you sometime eh, bye bye. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 225 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 52 Charlie comes by to visit me and he talks about taxes and duties. After his father died I was quite short of money and we sold off a lot of properties. Charlie said, “Mum, you better sell Emerald Hill.” “How to sell,” I said, “This is the family house for you all to stay.” “Mum, actually I don’t want to live in Emerald Hill,” he said, and in the end, true enough, all of them moved away. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 226 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 52 In the end I took his advice and I sold most of the land, except the house itself. Charlie helped me get a good price. Then the builders came and they were driving their piles bang bang bang all day long, woh, kepala pusing. Now there are these blocks of flats every side. And there’s a busy road running close by, with traffice rattling and rapping, just where the band used to play… Emily lowers herself into her chair. Lights begin to fade. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 227 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 52 We used to have a big front lawn with all kinds of flower beds, with three gardeners to look after them. At the back there were two tennis courts, and some fruit trees, rambutan, chiku, mangosteen, and I had my orchids planted on the slope of the hill. I had spider orchids and vanda Joachim, and there was a new hybrid from Mr. G. P. Chee’s garden, he named it vanda Emily. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 228 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 52 Now the garden’s gone and the tall apartment blocks press up around the house. The paint is flaking off the pillars of the front porch. On the verandahs, the rattan chicks hand crooked, and dead leaves blow along the patterned tiles. The big bedrooms stay closed. I just sit here, very quietly, listening to the noises from the road… Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 229 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 53 The stage is very dim. A harsh overhead spot shines on the chair where Emily sits, looking small and frail. Hello – hello, Bin-bin. Looking up at the tall boy Wah, now my chu-chu is a big buffalo, grown up already… This is your fiancée, is it? Mei Choon – are you at the University also? Bin Seong is a good boy, he comes and takes me out, we go to the food centre for supper, or just go for a drive, makan angin. Otherwise I don’t go out very much nowadays… Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 230 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 53 No-lah Bin-bin, I think I don’t want to go for a drive today, I’m feeling a bit tired. You young folks go out together lah. I just rest quietly here lah… You think it’s noisy ah Mei Choon? I don’t mind the traffic noises. They sound like voices laughing and talking, echoing in the house. Thank you for coming, eh, Bin-bin. Night-night. The stage is now totally dark except for the spotlight on Emily. She sits very still and presently she seems to talk in a dream. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 231 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 54 Ah, Bin-bin, sayang chu-chu mak ni. Porpor make ice-cream for you. Turn harder, Mat, turn the handle. After that, you go to Amber Road, fetch Tuan Besar home. I don’t care lah! My son must inherit, even though her son is older. She thinks she so clever because she can play piano. I can learn music also. Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 232 Secondary 2NA.2011
    • ACT 2 EOEH: Page 54 Sings Weep no more my lady, O weep no more today, We will sing one song for the old Kentucky home, For the old Kentucky home so far away. Be careful don’t fall from the pony, Richard! You did well in school, ya? Sometimes you take Mother out for a drive to makan angin, you’re a good boy ya. Enough driving now, Richard. Mother is getting very tired, you take me home now. Ya, I want to go home and sleep. You are a good boy, you take care of Mother, ya?... My big strong son. The lights go out Prepared by Yeo Yam Hwee - 233 Secondary 2NA.2011