In the Company of Women: Selected Plays

In the Company of Women: Selected Plays

Nine plays and monologues, plus a film script, that plunge the reader deep into the intricate female psyche. Deftly written from the perspective of a distinctively Singaporean woman, these works are steeped in the island’s unique flavour of modern sophistication and tradition, multiculturalism and ethnicity, past and present.

Summary of Contents

Effort & Chance

A young married couple fight todays’ odds to stay together and start a family.

Jiving on Java (a monologue)

Buzzed on caffeine, a woman rejects work, buses and car ownership, desiring peace and tranquillity.

Love, Food & Babies

An ensemble play about how love and food bring people together (or drive them apart) to create new life and sustain a family.

The Perfect Shoe (a monologue)

The adventures of a big-footed woman who seeks to keep her feet happy.

Silent Man (a monologue)

Verena Tay makes sense of the art and life of her late father, David Tay Tian Swee, a photographer, through her art as an actor.

Good Girls Don’t Wait (a monologue)

A woman waits… and waits… and waits… for her boyfriend. Why?

Excerpts from Cotton & Jade (a monologue)

A recreation of the stories of the women in Verena Tay's family, from her great-grandmother down to her nieces, Cotton & Jade explores universal issues of identity, family ties and womanhood.

Promises (a film script)

Does the promise of a new millennium mean new life for some Singaporeans?

Mirror, Mirror

A schoolgirl battles for her life against her distorted body image.


On Chinese New Year’s Eve, why does an elderly couple with very few friends and relatives need so many Mandarin oranges?

Quotes from Critics

3 Men Meet 3 Women succeeded in heralding the entry of a female playwright to watch – rare in a male-dominated scene and a cause for celebration.”

Clarissa Oon, Life! Section, The Straits Times, 26 Jul 2004, p. 9

“…but she shone most brightly in Good Girls Don’t Wait, in which she played a simple-minded, insecure girl who is waiting (and waiting) for her ah beng boyfriend who never shows up – except he finally does, but in a way that is a bittersweet surprise for the character and the audience. When I first saw Good Girls Don't Wait in an earlier staging it lacked the tautness of structure and focus on character that Tay gave it in this version. In writing and performance, Wait was well-handled and came alive with an honesty that gave this simple story the x-factor it needed.

…But even as they are now, there is much to appreciate. These are stories that are worth telling and are being told reasonably well, but more importantly they are being told with a lot of heart and sensitivity, which is what matters most in intimate productions of this nature.”

Kenneth Kwok, 30 Jun 2005, The Flying Inkpot Theatre Reviews, Review of 3 Women and Still Flight
Link (last accessed: 19 Feb 2007)