Playwright Stella Kon's musical about the life of Lim Boon Keng runs from 10-13 Oct

The late philanthropist Dr Lim Boon Keng and his great-grandaughter, Stella Kon. (Photos: Courtesy of family of Dr Lim Kok Ann, Musical Theatre Limited)

SINGAPORE — Did you know that Stella Kon, who wrote the seminal Singaporean play, Emily of Emerald Hill, is the great-granddaughter of Dr Lim Boon Keng, a prominent local historical figure who shaped Singapore’s history? You may know Dr Lim as the namesake of Boon Keng MRT Station.

Kon wrote a musical about the life and times of her famous ancestor, which will run this week at Victoria Theatre. The musical, titled “Bring the Light” – Lim Boon Keng: The Musical, stars “Broadway Beng” Sebastian Tan as Dr Lim. There will be five shows running from Thursday to Sunday (10-13 Oct).


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Lim Boon Keng, his wife Grace Yin, and their great-grandchildren, the siblings Lim Su Min (child on left) and Stella Kon, circa 1947. (Photo: Courtesy of Dr Lim Kok Ann's family)

Dr Lim, who lived from 1869 to 1957, founded schools, championed for education for girls, and rallied public support on many public causes of his day. He held positions within the colonial government and numerous memberships within civic organisations. For his good work, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire. However, he was accused of being a spy and collaborator of the Japanese during the Second World War.

Lim Boon Keng: The Musical traces the ups and downs of a man full of ideas and ideals, as he reflects on his life and his philosophy in early-20th century Singapore, and reveals his deeds and contributions.

Presented by Musical Theatre Limited and in commemoration of Singapore’s bicentennial this year, the musical was directed by Jeremiah Choy. Kon wrote the script and lyrics, while the music is by Desmond Moey. Besides Sebastian Tan, the musical also stars George Chan, Audrey Luo and Celine Rosa Tan. Elaine Chan directed and arranged the music.

Bring the Light” – Lim Boon Keng: The Musical runs from 10 October to 13 October at Victoria Theatre. Evening shows from Thursday to Saturday are at 8pm; matinee shows on Saturday and Sunday are at 3pm. Tickets cost from S$60 to S$80. Tickets are available for sale via Sistic.