Margaret Chan

Margaret Chan’s love for theatre began in the early 1970s with pioneering English language theatre clubs the University of Singapore Society and the Experimental Theatre Club. In her stage career, Margaret has chalked up a number of “firsts:”

  • In 1985, Margaret was the first Singaporean to perform Stella Kon’s acclaimed monodrama, Emily of Emerald Hill. Some regard Margaret’s portrayal of the titular role as the seminal performance of Stella’s Emily Gan. The following year, Margaret took the role to the prestigious Assembly Rooms venue in Edinburgh, Scotland, when she represented Singapore at the 1986 Commonwealth Arts Festival.
  • Margaret became the first Singaporean to perform at the internationally acclaimed Edinburgh Festival when she was invited to reprise her role in 1986 for the Traverse Theatre, named “One of the most important theatres in Britain” by The Observer.
  • At home, Margaret is well-remembered for her 1994 portrayal of the matriarch, Tan Geok Neo in the nation’s first English language TV drama series Masters of the Sea and the follow-on series in 1995, Troubled Water, for the then Television Corporation of Singapore. Her signature line, “I’ll crush you like a cockroach,” has become a Singapore catchphrase.
  • In 1995, Margaret was the first English language actress from Channel 5 to crossover to the Chinese Channel 8 when she took a principal role in the Mandarin drama series, The Golden Pillow.
  • In 2002, she was the first English language actress to crossover and take a principal role in a Suria Channel Malay drama series. This seminal performance was in Anak Metropilitan (Children of the City).

Margaret obtained her PhD in Theatre/Performance Studies with the Royal Holloway, University of London. She has a Master of Arts, Performance Studies (Distinction) from London’s acclaimed Central School of Speech and Drama and a University of London Teaching, Higher Certificate (Distinction). Margaret is the recipient of the prestigious Overseas Research Scholarship awarded by the U.K. government and the Thomas Holloway (Royal Holloway, Founder) scholarship.


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