It’s all about love this season for local theatre house Pangdemonium. Kicking it off this February is Lucy Prebble’s The Effect, a play that adds to the already confounding realm of romance the idea of love as a side effect.

When it comes to matters of the heart, how do you know if it’s the real McCoy? Young bloods Linden Furnell and Nikki Muller portray the two “guinea pigs” participating in a new drug test, during which they become more attracted to each other as the drug dosage increases. Playing the doctors conducting this experiment are Tan Kheng Hua and Adrian Pang.


Here with her thoughts on the sentimental subject, Kheng Hua speaks to us about her definition of love, the greatest thing she has done out of love, and the importance of experiencing a “turbo-sized heartbreak”.


Popspoken: What is love?

Tan Kheng Hua: Love, when given right, and received right, makes the world go round, in all the right ways.

PS: Do we choose who we love?

KH: Yes and no, depending on your character, stage of life, wants and expectations of love.

PS: Is unconditional love a myth?

KH: No, it is not. Unconditional love definitely exists, but not within the realm of romantic love.

PS: Why do so many marriages fall apart? And is divorce a failure?

KH: Things fall apart. That’s a fact of life and we have to expect that. But the degree to which things fall apart, and how and what we learn from it is entirely within our control. Whether divorce is a failure is entirely subjective and dependent on the specific situation. It is detrimental to generalise and often unfair to generalise situations, which are so intimate and detailed like marriage and divorce.

PS: Can men and women truly be just friends?

KH: Yes, absolutely. For me at least, there is a strong difference between people who attract me as lovers and people who attract me as friends.

PS: What have you learnt from the opposite sex?

KH: Men teach me to be wary of my ego. Ego is the enemy. Men also teach me not to sweat the small things (and) that often, the best way to deal with a problem is to go out and go bowling.  

PS: Have you ever been heartbroken? What’s the importance of heartbreak? 

KH: Of course I have been heartbroken. I think one has not lived totally if one has not experienced an all out, turbo sized heartbreak! It is probably one of the most terrible feelings in the world and therefore has to be experienced. The importance of heartbreak is that it  is probably one of the most humbling experiences one can have in one’s lifetime. We realise we are just small human beings, fragile, not very special, and totally like everyone else. Our hearts are just as vulnerable no matter how beautiful or rich or smart (we are).

PS: What’s the greatest thing you’ve done for someone out of love?

KH: Devote my life to them.

PS: What’s the biggest mistake you can make in a relationship?

KH: One of the biggest mistakes is to not have a healthy perspective on how you want to share a life with someone. What is the big picture? What is the most important thing for you in the person you want to share your life with?

PS: What are your thoughts on the concept of a soul mate?

KH: I completely believe there is someone out there whom you can truly call a soul mate. Whether that person can remain a soul mate, or whether you will ever find this soul mate, is entirely up in the air.

The Effect

Date: Feb 25 – Mar 13, 2016
Venue: Victoria Theatre
Admission: $35 – $65 

Photo Credit: Pangdemonium

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