Remember the five 18-year-old recruits who made Basic Military Training (BMT) look so fun in the Michael Chiang's comedy "Army Daze"?
To celebrate the play's 25th anniversary, Malcolm, Ah Beng, Johari, Krishna and Kenny will put on their green uniforms again and return to the stage at the Drama Centre Theatre in August.
Joining them in creating military mayhem will be Singapore's most talented comedians Dennis Chew, Chua Enlai and Norleena Salim.
And the person charged with turning these boys -- and girls -- into men (and women) will be director Beatrice Chia.
Songwriter-producer Don Richmond, Chia's real-life brother-in-law, will also refresh the much-loved play with his original compositions.
Army Daze "4G"
At the production's press conference on Thursday, Chiang said audience can expect to see fresh jokes and materials in the new Army Daze, because, well, the army has undergone several changes since the 57-year-old enlisted for national service in the 1970s.
"Right now things are probably different because they do a lot of simulated training. They use computers to take the soldiers through exercises. I think during my time it was quite physical and now it's different," Chiang said.
He also reminisced about his days of wearing the army's green fatigues. "When I went [to the army], it was at Dempsey. Then they shifted to Nee Soon and now, to Tekong," he added.
Director Chia was also grateful for Chiang's input. "Michael has given a tremendous amount of latitude to Don and myself, to refresh what we hope will be the "4G" version of Army Daze."
[Slideshow of the cast here]
Nodding in agreement, actor Dwayne Tan, who plays mummy's boy recruit Malcolm Png, added that recruits of the 2000s variety face different challenges during national service, compared to older soliders like himself.
"I think technology has changed us a lot. Not having camera phones, emails, Facebook and Twitter is a significant difference than before where we were not used to having it," said the 28-year-old, who has acted in other plays such as "Beauty World" and "Spring Awakening".
"This is what will be weighing on the recruits' minds and will be what they will miss, probably more than their parents," he quipped.
Girl power in the military
Theatre actress Siti Khalijah also gave a demonstration of her military might at the event, when she commanded her recruits to do push-ups in front of the journalists.
Looking garang (Malay for fierce) in her smartly-pressed uniform and shiny boots, Siti plays Sergeant Khatib, named after, well, Khatib MRT station.
Speaking to Yahoo! Singapore later, she said, "I'm quite proud to play the role of a sergeant. From what I know, there are not many female sergeants and a Malay female sergeant is very rare.
"I take this as an awesome opportunity to screw these boys up and down and to be able to hantam (Malay for punish) them. It is also a girl's dream to be in a production full of men," she added candidly.
But if female sergeants are really such rarity in the army, then where does Siti get her inspiration from? The answer: Her mother.
Siti said her mother would shout her name out in full whenever she is angry, and she has adopted the same trait for her role as Sergeant Khatib.
"But [I am] doubling the fierceness," she added cheekily.
She also urged "people who grew up watching this show, those who are still in the army and those who have ORD-ed (completed national service)" to buy tickets to the show. "And bring their wives and girlfriends along."
Army Daze: The Production
21 to 26 August at the Drama Centre Theatre with two shows everyday at 3pm and 8pm (except Tuesdays).
Tickets are priced at $32, $42, $52 and $62 for shows on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and $39, $49, $59, $69 for shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. To buy, go online at EventClique or call 6602-9900.