Annabel Chong – a star is porn again


  • ASEAN+
  • Thursday, 05 Apr 2007

ANNABEL Chong gained global notoriety in a very un-Singaporean way – she had sex 251 times with 70 men in the American pornographic film, The World's Greatest Gang Bang

Today, a play inspired by the Singapore-born porn star opens in the conservative city state, and in its own way edges the country towards greater openness. 

“I feel I am becoming quite an Annabel Chong myself because I am finding the boundaries I can push, the envelopes I can't push,” said the play's director Loretta Chen. 

The 90-minute play 251: Welcome to the Intimate Life of Annabel Chong poses the question: Should someone like Chong be regarded as a hero? 

The catalyst for the play was a local newspaper article that discussed the definition of a national hero, Chen said. 

“They said national heroes are people who dare to go the distance, break boundaries and do what no man or woman has dared to do and Annabel Chong has done just that,” she said. 

“And yet she is branded as a national shame... she's taboo because her act was sexual.” 

Chong was the stage name of Grace Quek, who was born to middle-class Christian parents who were teachers. She attended top schools and was awarded a scholarship to read law in London. 

But shortly after, she moved to Los Angeles to enrol in a gender studies undergraduate programme and there, her porn career began. 

“Annabel Chong is a persona I created to express a certain part of myself that so far has not been able to find an outlet,” Quek said at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival that screened Sex: The Annabel Chong Story, a documentary about her. 

“In some ways Annabel is a rebel. She is rebelling against her very strict upbringing in Singapore,” Quek, then aged 26, said. 

251 explores the turning points – including a gang rape that led her to become Annabel Chong, Chen said. 

“I see her as a product of the Singaporean system,” she said. 

Chen said she was stunned when authorities approved 251, and their action appears to show that times are changing. 

A few years ago, the play would have been banned and not talked about, she said. 

Still, authorities had concerns and gave Chen a list of guidelines to follow, she said. Full nudity and group sex could not be depicted, but a topless scene was allowed.  

The play is rated for audiences above 18 years of age. – AFP  


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