This article is taken from Stand 222, 17(2) May - June 2019.

Euginia Tan The Pond Cleaner and the Prostitute
Synopsis: A repressed, tired couple struggling at the bottom of the social hierarchy in everyday Singapore try to make sense of their relationship and its eventual demise.

First staged as part of Pink Gajah Magic Lab Series 2, 9–11 March 2018.

Produced by Sharda Harrison, directed by Catherine Ho, performed by John Chow and Claire Teo.  

Cleaner (John Chow)
Prostitute (Claire Teo)


Bench. Cleaner enters, half-heartedly doing his job, then slumps down on the bench, resigned to not really finishing his task. He is dressed shabbily.  

Cleaner: I am the pond cleaner.  

That’s really what I do all day. Really. See this net? I skim algae off the water with it, and I have to balance myself so that I don’t get too heavy and lose my footing, nor too light so that I can’t get any grime off the water.

Water is already clean. But, in this city, we need to make sure that it is even cleaner. Did you know? Did you know that even water gets dirty? Did you know that we pay a man to scoop muck off our city ponds just like how we pay another to add pretty froth on the top of our coffee?

Now you know that we are truly rich, living in a country that can decorate their hot drinks and have janitors for ponds. Now ...
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