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ITV's The Singapore Grip: what does the phrase mean?

Are you watching the drama?

singapore grip itv
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior TV & Film Writer
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ITV's brand new six-part drama, The Singapore Grip, will certainly keep us entertained over the coming weeks as we settle down on a Sunday evening thanks to its gripping plot and stellar cast.

But not only has the show got viewers talking thanks to the storyline, but the title of the drama has left many (us included) feeling a little confused. So what does it mean? We investigated…

MORE: All you need to know about new ITV drama The Singapore Grip

itv singapore© Photo: ITV

The Singapore Grip is ITV's latest drama

What does The Singapore Grip mean?

The TV drama and novel explains the confusion of this phrase, which is first hinted at a flu or fever illness, leaving lead star Matthew to ask around. The next definition he's given is that it allegedly describes a suitcase.

However, the character finds himself looking a little sheepish as he asks plenty of others the true meaning, before being told the truth by his friend Ehrendorf, who reveals that there is a somewhat X-rated explanation behind the phrase. 

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singapore grip 2© Photo: ITV

The new six-part series has proved popular so far

Who stars in The Singapore Grip?

Luke Treadaway (Fortitude, Ordeal by Innocence) stars as the lead in the series, playing the role of Matthew Webb. Matthew finds himself sent to Singapore in the midst of the Second World War when his father is taken ill.

His character is "thwarted by the impending threat of war and, being terrified of offending his father's long-term business partner, the commanding figure of Walter."

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david morrissey singapore grip© Photo: ITV

David Morrissey as Walter Blackett

Playing the role of Matthew's father is Charles Dance. Having been in the acting world for a number of decades, viewers will instantly recognise Charles. His recent roles include The Crown, Game of Thrones and The Imitation Game.

Starring alongside Luke is The Walking Dead and Britannia star David Morrissey as Walter Blackett, a ruthless rubber merchant who does not see eye-to-eye with Matthew and is determined the future of their firm is secured.

matthew singapore grip© Photo: ITV

Luke Treadaway as Matthew Webb

What is ITV's The Singapore Grip about?

The new series is based on the 1978 novel of the same name by JG Farrell and is set in Singapore between 1941 and 1942. The show explores and satirises colonial society at the time in the run-up to the Japanese invasion.

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The official synopsis explains the show as an "epic story" of the Blacketts, a British family living in Singapore during the height of the Second World War.

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