Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Off Centre (One Play Series)” as Want to Read:
Off Centre (One Play Series)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Off Centre (One Play Series)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  14 reviews
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
...more
Paperback, Reprint, 132 pages
Published 2002 by Ethos Books (first published 2000)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Off Centre, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Off Centre

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  144 ratings  ·  14 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Off Centre (One Play Series)
Joséphine (Word Revel)
Initial thoughts: First staged in 1993, Off Centre is much more progressive for its time than I had anticipated. Mental health is so misunderstood and until today, many in Singapore vilify anyone with mental illnesses. There's a fair bit more awareness, sure, but prejudice, discrimination and fear still exist.

In 2002, when I had first moved to Singapore and was in fifth grade, my form teacher would threaten misbehaving classmates, and classmates who didn't do well academically that they'd end up
...more
David Tay
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I came in with high expectations for the book which is often touted as a powerful take on mental illness in the Singapore context, and the play certainly delivered in that respect.

POSSIBLY MAJOR SPOILERS

One of my favourite scenes is the one where Vinod was in NS(national service), his breakdown seemed disturbingly real. He gets reprimanded for it, but I believe anyone in his circumstance who isn't "off-centre" would have done the same.

While there were certainly many powerful scenes, I was
...more
Sean Goh
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Knowing the background of the play, the interviews and research that went into it helps overcome the irksome feeling that arises when reading the disjointed, staccato lines in which Vinod and Saloma sometimes speak. Reading this still didn't change my opinion of Being Haresh Sharma though.

___
I don't like NUS. I went there once after my army and told myself I'm never going back. The people there are so competitive, so shallow, no brains, no soul. I think they will all graduate to become experts
...more
Erika
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really liked it. It’s moving and raw, and doesn’t shy away from the painful experiences mental patients face. I watched the ply and it was equally brilliant. The ending was abrupt and touching, personally I thought it detailed how for depressive patients, objectively minor issues can be a trigger for them. An important read!!!
Taylor
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading this book for my O levels many many years ago. The power and impact of this story is not lost more than a decade later, and I remember how much I was left with when I watched the actual production, which definitely elevated the story.
Tristan
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Amazing.
Alikokinav
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book is relatively short and yet, succinct.

There are 2 main characters (Vinod and Saloma), who are both described as 'off-centre'. The book showcases their thoughts and emotions and it is interesting to see how their paths converged and diverged. Watching them grow and interact with a multitude of characters, and seeing how it shaped them captured my attention.

I don't think this review could do justice to a book that manages to touch and expound on mental illnesses so well that I could
...more
Shu Yi Lee
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer
Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world"

Yeats, The Second Coming

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
...more
Sara Reads
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sara by: Jean Tay
...I got absorbed into the story. Perhaps I have a new appreciation for this genre now that I took a class & actually struggled to write a play. I love how the characters in Off Centre contrast each other, especially Saloma & Vinod. & I... didn't expect how Vinod turned out in the end. (view spoiler) So... yeah. Very thought-provoking, very interesting portrayal of mental ...more
Amelia
Feb 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book highlights the plight of mental patients in society and how they are viewed by friends,family and the society at large. It talks about their struggle to fit in and how the patients long for people to view them as "normal".
Tse Guang
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Actually I liked it a lot more for its play with stage conventions than for its portrayal of mental illness. Some things can only be approached and not inhabited, I guess.
Audria
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A very powerful play. Set me thinking.
Beverly Tan
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Captures the mindset and the struggles of the mentally ill well.
Pepper Lee
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
One example of a play that has not seen a production which lives up the text.
Esther
rated it really liked it
Dec 01, 2012
Naqiyyah Rahamat
rated it it was amazing
Jun 17, 2013
Cheryl Tan
rated it it was ok
Dec 08, 2016
Daniel
rated it really liked it
Nov 10, 2016
Justin Lai
rated it it was amazing
Apr 15, 2017
Desiree
rated it really liked it
Jun 14, 2018
Gemma
rated it it was amazing
Feb 11, 2012
YANKEET
rated it really liked it
Nov 18, 2017
Shermin Ong
rated it it was amazing
Mar 25, 2017
Joanna Lam
rated it really liked it
Jun 08, 2018
Illya
rated it it was amazing
Apr 01, 2013
avril
rated it really liked it
May 05, 2019
Shafiq Rafi
rated it it was amazing
Sep 24, 2019
Gayathiri
rated it liked it
Dec 17, 2007
Darrel Eng
rated it liked it
Jun 15, 2015
Dana
rated it really liked it
Apr 08, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • This Is What Inequality Looks Like
  • Impractical Uses of Cake
  • Shingaling: A Wonder Story (Wonder, #1.7)
  • The Minorities
  • The Big Six Historical Thinking Concepts
  • The Movie That No One Saw
  • It Never Rains on National Day
  • Lion City
  • Zahra's Paradise
  • Us Conductors
  • Joy, Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love
  • Americus
  • The Cultural Revolution: A People's History, 1962-1976
  • Home is Not Here
  • A Primer for Teaching Environmental History: Ten Design Principles
  • A Matter of Facts: The Value of Evidence in an Information Age
  • What to Listen for in Music
  • The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories
See similar books…
10 followers
Haresh is Resident Playwright of The Necessary Stage and co-Artistic Director of the annual M1 Singapore Fringe Festival. To date, he has written more than 100 plays. His play, Off Centre, was selected by the Ministry of Education as a Literature text for N and O Levels, and republished by The Necessary Stage in 2006. In 2008, Ethos Books published Interlogue: Studies in Singapore Literature, Vol. ...more