Eric, a 30-year old social worker, returns to his childhood neighbourhood and looks for the home of his old neighbour, Habiba. He finds that the couple are still living there, older and with children. As Eric and his old neighbour Habiba reminisce ‘the old days’, a shocking secret is revealed —one that would forever change their lives.
Fundamentally Happy takes an unflinching look at the personal and emotional issues surrounding paedophilia, without judgement or blame.
A trusted neighbour, a child-minder and a family friend are often people we would entrust our children to without so much as a second thought. As Fundamentally Happy traces the emotional and personal issues that arise after a secret is revealed, the implications for a wife and a mother who is also a friend of the perceived ‘victim’, start to surface. Bringing into question all trust, integrity and honesty that exists in a friendship, Fundamentally Happy also explores issues such as memory, justification, consent and possible legal implications of paedophilia.
Chua Enlai as Eric
Aidli 'Alin' Mosbit as Habiba
Winner of Best Production and Best Original Script at the 2007 Life! Theatre Awards.
"... an epic yet fiercely intimate tragedy of love and loss... one of the best plays I have watched this year. It is a heartbreaking and utterly convincing work of art, handled with clarity, simplicity and rare generosity of spirit."
—The Flying Inkpot
"From its perfectly apt title to its restrained conclusion [Fundamentally Happy] is experienced like a breath – a sustained, wrenching gasp of wonder, the flesh made word in a swell of gentle brutality.” - The Straits Times Life! “Fundamentally Happy is as much an unflinching exploration of the personal and emotional issues surrounding paedophilia as it is an epic, yet fiercely intimate tragedy about love and loss... A pure theatrical triumph."
—The Flying Inkpot
"This was an intimate and frank performance by the company, and director Alvin Tan and playwright Haresh Sharma has inspired me and revived my belief in the strength of realist drama."
—Lianhe Zaobao (translated from Chinese)