What does The Singapore Grip mean?

13 September 2020, 20:00

The Singapore Grip has a shocking meaning
The Singapore Grip has a shocking meaning. Picture: ITV

What is the real meaning of The Singapore Grip? Find out everything...

If you’re looking for another series to get hooked on, The Singapore Grip is ITVs brand new period drama.

Based on JG Farrell’s 1978 novel The Singapore Grip, the satirical programme follows Japan's entry into the Second World War by invading South East Asia and occupying Singapore.

The story follows a British family who control one of the colony's leading trading companies.

Part of the plot involves the main character Matthew Webb - played by Luke Treadaway - trying to figure out what exactly ‘The Singapore Grip’ means.

**Warning this article contains adult themes**

The Singapore Grip starts on September 13
The Singapore Grip starts on September 13. Picture: ITV

What does the Singapore grip mean?

In the novel, which ITV’s drama is based on, Matthew is trying to figure out what the Singapore grip is.

At one point he gets ill and thinks it must refer to a sickness similar to ‘the Singapore flu’.

However, towards the end he finally finds out the meaning from his friend Ehrendorf, who has to explain what everybody has been talking about.

And it's not for the faint hearted, as it refers to a sex act synonymous with Singapore prostitutes.

The Singapore Grip is an adaptation of JG Farrell’s 1978 novel
The Singapore Grip is an adaptation of JG Farrell’s 1978 novel. Picture: ITV

This sexual interpretation is later rejected by Matthew when he finds out as he says: "It’s the grip of our Western culture and economy on the Far East.

"It’s the stranglehold of capital on the traditional cultures of Malaya, China, Burma, Java, Indo-China and even India herself!

"It’s the doing of things our way – I mean, it’s the pursuit of self-interest rather than of the common interest!"

The Singapore Grip airs from Sunday 13th September at 9pm on ITV and is made up of six episodes.

Alongside Luke Treadaway, the cast includes the likes of Elizabeth Tan, David Morrissey, Georgia Blizzard and Charles Dance.