Mama v.s. Jack

I’m going into overdrive. I watched Jack & the Beansprout on the exact same day I bump-out for Mama looking for her Cat.

Mama’s the testament to what I always believe in. A small tight production team is always fun. Everybody knows everybody and everyone gels. Even if its just for that period of time. The tightness is still there. We can talk crap and make inside jokes where every single person will understand. Because it’s such a small team, the jokes get passed around fast. Not forgetting the show’s in Theatre Studio. Where the common area is right in front of the lift and there’s enough space for everyone to congregate there and chit-chat and hang out.

On the other hand.. The excitement, the thrill and the challenge of working on a large production like Jack & the Beansprout is always tempting. Not forgetting the money will always be better. The team will be bigger and usually more ‘star-studded’. It’s good for the resume. If you are a start-out. Like me. But in such a large-scale production, the relationships are strained. Cliques are formed and there’s always the politicking that I hate. Gossips, rumours, backstabbing etc etc..

But I miss the Drama Centre techies. Watched Jack last night and went out with Lynn, Hidayah, Pauline & the rest of the wardrobe gang.. Ismail was there too and we were thinking like the last show that I did at DC was last year Sleeping Beauty!!! That was about 1 year ago boy. Time really flies.

I’m waiting. 2 more years and my tuition fee loans will be cleared. Start saving now and I will be back in the scene very very soon. But now I need to learn. I’m like a baby who’s learning how to walk. But with very few practice sessions.

Resolution for the new year. ALL my annual leave will be used for productions. If I can make it. If I’m not on business trip. I have 16 days to make full use of in the year 2007.

Toi toi toi!!!!!

holeybaloney

9 Comments

  1. hi
    give me plays like mama anytime. social message with heart, minimalist set, innovative video art, and an excellent cast including a darn sexy yeo yann yann.
    care to share your thoughts on the play?

  2. hi scout (whoever you are),

    I never actually watched the actual thing in the venue itself, frontal view. I was watching it from the sides but I loved how the whole play looked with the screens and the lights.

    Some of my friends didn’t like the show. Thought the multimedia confused the audience who didn’t know where to look and what they are supposed to see. In my opinion, that is the main idea of the whole multimedia overdose. Think of it from Mama’s POV. She’s in a different generation and all these sounds, lights, videos are making her confused. She’s unable to keep up to the trends and she loses herself while trying. It also doesn’t help that her kids do not want to even TRY to help her.

    That’s my few cents la.. ^__^

    BTW, do we know each other?? lol…

    Reene

  3. hi reene

    nope, we are not acquainted. i came across your blog while googling mlfhc.
    thanks for your few cents of opinion :) your take on the mama’s pov is pretty interesting.
    i think those who wached this new techie version will either like it or hate it (especially for the purists).

    some of the stuff that worked for me… the video close-ups of the actors and freezing the frame at some scenes; video footage of the actors talking about their real-life mums during the set change.

    what puzzled me was why the character played by yann yann is the so havoc type and why malay was spoken in the chinese family (both were deviation from the original). while i understand this is an update of the play to keep up with the times, i don’t really see how they enhanced the play.

    my fav scenes were the tense, shouting match between mama and son (alvin), the funny translation scene beween irritable daughter (yann yann) and mama; and the opening scene where yann yann briefly transformed her facial expression to mimic a cat (yup, in that order).

    i wish the pivotal scene between mama and indian man whose cat was also missing was acted out in the flesh. nevertheless, the video footage from the 1988 version was a nice nostalgic touch especially for those who saw that ground-breaking version.

    major gripe… the loud rojak music which tend to drown out the actors’ voices at some moments.

    i rate this play 4/5 for overall acting, 3/5 for directing, 3/5 for set design and 3.5/5 for innovation

    btw if i may ask, are you a volunteer for ttp and what’s your involvement in local theatre?

  4. hi scout..

    i’m the freelancer who’s not really a freelancer.. haha! i’m holding a full-time job so i can only work for productions on an ad hoc basis, if my schedule permits. (one has got to pay the bills)

    i do mainly sound.. but once in a while i dabble in surtitles and crew-ing.. so do you watch local theatre much? english or chinese?

  5. so what aspect did u handle in mlfhc?

    i can’t say i’m an avid theatre-goer… depends on whether i like the storyline and main cast. i don’t like musicals though. i watch both eng and chinese plays but sadly the chinese theatre scene seems to have stagnated. more so now with the passing of mr kuo pao kun. have u met or worked with him before?

    i’ve just read one of your earlier posts where u talked about struggling theatre practitioners. how to make a decent living here doing theatre full-time, unless you’re an a-lister like pam oei or selena tan or hossan leong or lim kay siu?
    i really salute those who sacrifice better pay cheques for the love and passion for the theatre.

    my view is that there’re just too many theatre companies for a small country like spore. it seems there’s more quantity rather than quality these days. i guess the companies are forced to cater to the mainstream audience who go to theatre primarily for entertainment (eg . light-hearted jack over heavy-going mlfhc). what’s your take on this?

  6. i was the surtitlist..

    it’s difficult to do chinese theatre. mostly so because, contrary to the government’s calls, there’s an increasing percentage of singaporeans who are unable to understand mandarin. and chinese theatre have always been viewed as too heavy.. too dull.. too philosophical or poetic.

    how do we survive? we work ourselves silly.. if you want to really survive in this line, you cannot stop working. we live from cheque to cheque. and not to mention they pay really badly now.. way below market rate.. it sucks

  7. yup lack of funding has been a perennial problem for local theatre companies
    a play like mlfhc with all its multimedia stuff must have been quite an expensive production. i hope ttp has something left to pay you ; )

    what’s your next theatre project?

  8. Its pretty low budget actually.. Everything is DIY! Tough on the production manager but then we still make a great show on a small budget.

    i don’t know yet actually.. we’ll see. :)

  9. oh that’s cool! mlfhc certainly ranks as my most memorable play of 2006.

    it’s been nice chatting with you reene. all the best in your theatrical pursuits. :)

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