Friday, 25th April '03
Ahh... the perks of being affliated with a nice busy company like the TNS. Free tickets, free tickets and more free tickets! *grin* Ok, so in this case what we got to see wasn't a real show yet, but a preview is still something to crow about...
Today's preview was "Revelations", a play written by Haresh Sharma, Chong Tze Chien (the usual) and performed by Serena (our instructor), Sean (our art director) and other semi-celebrities like Kumar, Natelie Hennedige, Rodney Olivero and Nick Shen.
I don't want to spoil the show for anyone who is intending to watch it in June. but it isn't for the faint hearted or homophobic. Several scenes has me squirming in my seat, hair standing on end, and still others made me just want to stick my fingers in my ears and close my eyes *assumes the "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil" stance*. Still, the aim of the play was to cause some discomfort and the cast did so with much panache... Serena was really great, child-like and heart-rending and FOCUSED (haha... private joke. We're always diaoing her about nagging us to stay focused. And we're TERRIBLE at it.) Nick Shen and Goh Guat Kian (I think) were completely believable as a boy and his grandmother and although their entire conversation was conducted in Teochew and lasted all of forty minutes, I was impressed by how much emotion they could convey on cue (the conversation had this artistic sorta spanning of 30 years... and showed special scenes in their lives). They had to go from gay jokes to topics like cancer in the twinkilng of an eye and the crying just came so nautrally. I just pitied the poor ang moh guy in the audience who said all he could understand were "boy, Ma, New York, *tear trickle* and cancer".
What I did find lacking in this show was a lack of a clear link between each scene and the intended theme of "salvation amidst chaos". What the audience got instead was a overwhelming sense of isolation and dreariness and personally, I was - and still am - at a loss as to how the gender-bender issues, abandonment and quoting from Biblical scripture tied up together. I appreciated the fact that it has encouraged me to think and did not "baby" me by making everything ridiculously expository (as Channel 8 dramas have a tendency to do) but as that same ang moh commented, a play shouldn't be an ordeal. If it's SO cheem as to be only understandable by a few elite members of the audience, I hardly think it has fulfilled its purpose of educating and enlightening the masses.
So I emerged feeling pretty small and inadequate. At least, everyone around me claimed to have understood the play, but I am still feeling like I'm scrabbling away at the surface of it. And no one I asked could tell me what SORT of revelations they got from the play. Oh well, will think somemore and maybe that feedback form I have to fill in will help.
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]