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RHMP 2022: Home, Truly


In 2022, we finally witnessed the long-anticipated, full-scale return of our annual Raffles Hall Musical Production (RHMP), which has been a cornerstone of the Raffles Hall experience throughout decades of NUS history. With Home, Truly (2022) being our first live production in two years, recruitment was met with a colourful, energetic burst of enthusiasm from our RHesidents, during which we garnered all manner of talented and passionate individuals to form the backbone of the show.

Photo credits: Yicheng (BOP)

Building a live musical production from scratch is no small feat: from the original soundtracks composed, arranged, and performed by the musicians to the intricately designed backdrops crafted by the sets department, the show was entirely woven together by our RHesidents. Both onstage and offstage, the various dedicated RHMP departments toiled tirelessly to turn this production into a thing of beauty.

Photo credits: Yuechen (BOP)

Behind the scenes, the producers ensured the smooth running of the show, alongside the internal and external marketing teams, which promoted RHMP among RHesidents and liaised with sponsors to raise funds for the production respectively, while the graphic designers produced collaterals and publicity materials. The sets department designed and built the striking backdrops that set the stage for the show, which was eventually lit up and brought to life by the cast and ensemble with their talent and infectious energy. The musicians impressed the crowd with the performance of their original 12 songs and 13 background tracks, composed specially for RHMP. As the costumes team swept the performers in and out with their outfit changes, the stage managers commanded the lights, audio, and stage movements with an admirable finesse.

Photo credits: Yuechen (BOP)

Over many gruelling nights of rehearsals and bootcamp throughout the semester, the RHMP family struck up new friendships and nurtured strong bonds across different departments, blocks, and faculties, and made Raffles Hall’s biggest cultural event of the year a major success.

Home, Truly was written by Phoenix Press’ own president, Raynard Tay, and follows the story of a newly minted freshman in Raffles Hall named Axel. With university marking new beginnings in his life, Axel finds himself swept up in the newfound excitement of “hall life”. He forges new friendships, pursues different interests, and immerses himself in student life. However, as time passes, he finds himself struggling to fit in with his peers, and to manage his time between family and hall commitments. When a family emergency pushes him to his breaking point, Axel is left to contemplate whether he is cut out for hall life or if he should just call it quits and go home.

Photo credits: Yicheng (BOP)

The message of Home, Truly is one of belonging, which is something that most university-aged students resonate with. It was not long ago that the fresh-faced, wide-eyed freshmen in the audience had found themselves thrown into Axel’s shoes. From the expectations they carried as they moved their belongings into the room that would have become home for the next semester, and the sea of fresh, unfamiliar faces that would eventually turn into friends from late night supper runs and tentative greetings along the corridor, to the burnout from exciting taking up too many commitments and eventually learning to find their own stride, Home, Truly provided viewers with a peephole into the ups and downs of student life at Raffles Hall. This experience would retrospectively become integral to many amidst these formative university years, as they embark on this important journey of growth and self-discovery.

Photo credits: Yicheng (BOP)

As the cast and crew gathered onstage for the last time during curtain call, the bright, grinning faces of our RHesidents shone through. Theatre is something alive: it lives and breathes together with the audience. It may have passed, but in that moment, we knew we shared something truly special.

Oh Raffles Hall, it’s a home away from home

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