Sunday School of Hard Knocks

A humorous, heartfelt discussion of religion and sexuality using gyrating, dildos and anime boys.

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A portrait of Miriam against a pink background with orange and yellow circles behind her head. Miriam is a Chinese woman with long black hair and is wearing an off-shoulder black top. She is facing left and looking upward. She is holding a dark red book with the word

Image Credit: Mark Benedict Cheong

  • Written and Performed by: Miriam Cheong

  • Directed by: Genevieve Tan

  • Produced by: Mark Benedict Cheong

From being baptised as a baby to attending a Christian All-Girls' school on weekdays and Sunday school over the weekend, Miriam's whole world has revolved around the big J man in the sky. A bona fide bible verse memoriser and hymn belter, she spent much of her life as the ultimate Jesus fangirl.

Until her world expands. She realises hot cartoon men make her think salacious thoughts. She realises dildos feel good actually. She realises that the woman in her school with the gorgeous shoulders and icy glare is making her feel a certain way, but she can't call it love because her church was part of a campaign supporting the banning of queer-inclusive sex education.

And suddenly, she finds it hard to love a place that can't love her in return.

Recounting her absurd life, from the abstinence-based sex education to the latent homoerotic tension of Singaporean girls' schools to the not-so-secret secret lesbian aunts in the family, 'Sunday School of hard knocks' is an earnest reckoning with religion and the evangelical church's growing influence in Singapore.

This project received Cash for Equity through the Fringe Fund, as part of the Ralph Mclean Microgrants program.

About Miriam Cheong

Miriam is an actor, theatre-maker and writer based in Singapore. Her explorations in autobiographical theatre have brought her to exploring fatphobia in Wild Rice’s The Other F Word, her relationship with her mother tongue and Chinese identity at Esplanade’s Foreword Festival with Bin Hai: Xiao Ming by The Bay, and polycystic ovarian syndrome with Lotus Root Support Group. Her work in The Other F Word landed her nominations for Best Actress and Best Original Script at The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards.
Her other acting credits include Abby in Impromptu Meeting’s The Lobby, How Drama’s Fat Kids are Harder to Kidnap 2021, and debuting the role of Lily in Caricapture Theatre’s Tissue Paper Auntie The Musical at the Musical Theatre Festival Fringe Festival in 2022.

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