Games, Tablets and Theater: Tours explore new ways to delve into Singapore’s past

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Contrary to expectations, the tours created an “intimate” experience as no guide was present in person, two participants said.

Mr. Rei Poh, a lecturer at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, was taking part in a tour “led” by a well-known dance veteran, and he said it felt like he was following in the artist’s footsteps.

“I like the idea that there is no leader. I had a lot of freedom to watch and watch the things I wanted or make the experience my own,” Mr Poh said.

“I wasn’t just busy following someone … and so it was very personal and intimate.”

Ms. Tricia Lui, a tourist guide who produced the tour with theater company Secretive Thing, told CNA that one of the reasons for this virtual format was to allow participants to go alone, in line with social distancing requirements in India a pandemic.

On the other hand, she believes the tours allow for a more emotional connection to a place and explores how the disappearance of places affects a person.

“How do you feel when familiar places aren’t there anymore but only (exist) in your memory?” she said when asked how the tours differed from others.

INTERACTIVE THEATER IN TANJONG PAGAR

Ms. Lui also helped write the screenplay for Somewhere in Time, an interactive tour produced by veteran tour guide Jean Wang and Theater Today.

In a small interactive play performed in the Tanjong Pagar area, tour participants are enrolled as messengers and must complete quests to uncover “hidden treasures” and lesser-known stories about the sanctuary.

Ms. Wang, who has been a tour guide for more than 40 years, said she used to take large groups of people, some of whom came from cruise ships for just a few hours, on short trips. She believes things will be very different post COVID.

“Personally, I want to prepare for the new generation of overseas visitors, they will want something exciting,” she said.

So they created this tour so that people could see things from the perspective of the rickshaw coolies and other workers who would have worked there.

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