Some good conversations between a corpse and a civil servant is an unusual scenario but in Jean Tay’s play Boom, it has a substantial richness and a quirkiness and is very amusing. I found the character of Corpse fascinating and truly enjoyed Gerwin Widjaja’s performance. Daniel MacKenzie’s hesitant and exasperated civil servant, Jeremiah, was an excellent foil to Corpse and his exuberance.

Boom tells the story, set in Singapore, of an aging mother (Tiang Lim) being urged by her property agent son Boon (Josephine Lee) to sell her apartment. The majority of the residents in the block want to sell as it will be very lucrative if the block can be sold in its entirety. The mother does not want to sell as the apartment holds memories and looks over a significant tree in the backyard.

Many Singaporeans are obsessed with luxury property, views, prestige neighbourhoods and luxury goods and the real estate industry takes advantage of these obsessions. There is a shortage of land which fuels the real estate industry and puts pressure on the government regarding, amongst other things, cemeteries. The play ties these threads together with a universal story about an ageing parent’s relationship with their child which is complicated by childhood trauma and an absent husband and father. This is a story about people that value human connection, memories and nature that clash with modern development and greed, thoughtfully told with humour and passion.

The full cast is Melissa Gan, Tiang Lim, Josephine Lee, Natalie Low, Daniel MacKenzie, Gerwin Widjaja and Jordon Zhu. Director Tiffany Wong handles the cast, some playing numerous roles, with aplomb and able assistance from sound designer Sam Cheng and lighting designer Luna Ng. The notable crew includes costume designer Rita Naidu, set sesigner Aloma Barnes, lighting technician Capri Harris, production dramaturg Adam Yoon, fight director Sam Flack, deputy stage manager Jake Fisher and assistant stage manager Katie Ord.

BOOM opened at the delightful KXT Broadway on Wednesday, 11th October and runs until 21st October.