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Alternatively, archival copies of Off Centre are available at the National Library Board.
This edition of the book is no longer in print. Ethos Books does not sell the GCE 'O' level text version of Off Centre. For purchases of the schools/academic version of the book, please contact The Neccessary Stage directly.
by Haresh Sharma
Off Centre is The Necessary Stage’s landmark play in the history of Singapore Theatre. It is best remembered for bringing mental illness and its patients’ plight to the attention of the media and the public.
The play uses effective techniques of flashbacks; moving the characters in and out of their schizophrenic and normal selves to elicit the rational and emotional experiences of two schizophrenics, Vinod and Saloma.
Off Centre was first staged in September 1993 at The Drama Centre.
About the Playwright
Since he started writing in 1988, Haresh Sharma has been prolific, with 30 plays to his credit, all of which have been staged. His plays are consistently acclaimed by theatre critics in Singapore, and he has received awards for his writing. Earlier successes include Lanterns Never Go Out, This Chord & Others and Those Who Can’t, Teach. Three Years in the Life and Death of Land, staged for the 1994 Festival of Arts, was welcomed as a stunning tapestry. In 1997, Haresh Sharma was awarded the Young Artist Award for Theatre by the National Arts Council in Singapore.
"Off Centre marks a new maturity in Singapore theatre, addressing an audience prepared to be challenged. Though at moments, the taut dramatic line sags and the dialogue veers towards tedium, the gravity of the subject gives one endurance." -Hannah Pandian, The Straits Times
"What is remarkable about Off Centre is its ability to not only connect, but move the audience through something as alienating as mental illness." -Amos Toh, The Flying Inkpot
"I really liked this play and its themes of people who are different, struggling, and marginalized by a society that thinks of them as "off-centre". Perhaps one of the reasons why I could relate to this is because of its local setting. Certain issues did cut through me like a knife; particularly how I think of people who behave differently from me. We think the only people who are people, are the people who think and act just like us. Though I may not act like it, I see and observe my mind doing these things, and it makes me ashamed. Am glad to have read this." - Shu Yi Lee, on Goodreads