HOLEYBALONEY

Did Robert F. Kennedy kill Marilyn Monroe??

FBI suspects yes. Philippe Mora, an Australian writer based in LA recently discovered a secret FBI document that implicates the big and the famous. And yes, Robert Kennedy, brother of John Kennedy, is said to have a hand in inducing her suicide attempt and ensuring that she dies without help.

If it was not because of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), this information will have been gone.. Forever..

Now now.. I didn’t know Marilyn Monroe married Arthur Miller (why would ANYONE marry him? He’s weird!) And that she was in the FBI watchlist because she married Arthur Miller (he had leftist inclinations).

Arthur Miller is a weird genius.

So for everyone who wants to see the articles:
How Bobby betrayed Marilyn

FBI file links Kennedy to Monroe’s death
FBI document

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!!!!!

First Family – July 7, 2006

Show: First Family
Date: 7th July 2006
Venue: Drama Centre Theatre

Director/Playwright/Set Designer: Chong Tze Chien
Lighting Designer: Lim Woan Wen
Sound Designer: Darren Ng
Costume Designer: Lim Chin Huat
Crew: Goh Guat Kian, Low Kah Wei, Jean Ng, Karen Tan, Ong Kian Sin, Claire Devine, Oliver Chong, Ang Hui Bin, Julius Foo, Tan Beng Tian

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It was a show about loyalty and betrayal, about putting country before family, about a family who was once the apple of the country’s eye but suddenly finds themselves embroiled in a dark conspiracy to destroy them and all that they’ve ever believed in.

The idea is fantastic but the execution was, sadly, not on par. It’s just like 2 perfect parents, conceiving a perfect baby but somehow during the 9-month pregnancy & the birth, something went wrong and the baby turned out not-so-perfect. It could have been the blockbuster of the theatre scene in 2006.

I couldn’t really put my finger down to the exact thing that went wrong. The nagging feeling is that this show might just be The Finger Players’ worst show to date, after its new direction. The direction was rather loose and there were too many unnecessary breaks and repetitions, trying to show that the “little one” was the more loved and most pampered one in the family. The game of ‘Eagle and the Chick’ was way too long and scenes like this really brings the whole tone of the play down and every time such a dip happens, it takes them double the effort to bring the play back to its original pace & energy level.

Sound was somewhat off the night I watched. I tend to give Darren quite a lot of grace. He works hard and he’s 5 men in 1, tackling 10,000 machines at the same time. However, one has to let go when one can. Handling the job of 5 men by oneself will not make a show better. It might just crash it. Time is the only factor.

Speaking of which, one personal qualm I have with Finger Players’ so far is that they have been using the same designers for the longest time. Woan Wen & Darren are great in their own capacities but as a theatre company, TFP needs to be working with new people and getting freshness in their shows. For someone like me who has watched almost all their main season productions, it’s slowly becoming the same. I can walk into a TFP show and feel that this show’s lights & sound is not very much different from the previous one. It’s the same reverb, the same style of wash and the entire feel of the whole show is nothing very new.

It may seem that I didn’t like the show at all but alas, the truth couldn’t be further. I have high expectations and First Family didn’t march up that’s all. It was still enjoyable and there were funny moments like how the Prince’s kungfu master ended up being a regular of the bordello that the Mother used to work, so she learned all his skills. As usual, the shadow puppets were amazing, best of which was the perfect scenery of the country. The market, temple all came to life when the prince alluded to them. The sea practically swept me away.

All in all, First Family, though a overly lengthy 2 hours, was still a good way to spent a lazy Friday night!

Furthest North Deepest South – April 26, 2006

Since I cannot sleep and I have an hour before I’m supposed to wake Noel up.. (Hmm… the clock on my computer says 7.05am… hmmm) I should be writing about Furthest North Deepest South.

Twice I watched this play. I liked both. I mean.. how can I not. Similar cast, same director, same script… Well, I guess some technicalities were better with a more seasoned set of crew.

Here comes the big but. This 2nd run is, in my opinion, too bright and cheery. I’m not saying it has to be melancholy and somber and dreary but the one in 2004 was darker, with a serious message wrapped up in some form of satire.

I couldn’t sense a similar feel of tragedy in the 2nd run. FNDS is a tragedy. That was how I felt when I stepped out of the ACM 1.5 years ago. It was a freaking tragedy that was trying to be a comedy, which successfully brings out the most of the tragic. A possible reason could be that there were more students watching it this time round, (I should know. The night I watched was like 90-10 in favour of students) if it’s too satirical they would not understand? Or if it’s too somber they’d all fall asleep?

Couldn’t compare notes very much cos they group of people I watched with were first-timers to this show. Obviously they liked it quite a bit. Just as I did when I watched it for the first time. Nevertheless, I was able to find Rydwan who had watched the first run as well. He, just like me, preferred the 2004 version. Maybe, just maybe, like he said, I’ve grown up and I’m thinking of the show in a very different way.. And also maybe, I’m comparing it to the first run. Re-runs are never, in my humble opinion, better than the first.

Of course I have to say I still loved some moments and some directions. And of course, 1.5 years later, my fave is still the Rolls Royce ‘logo’ in front of the ship played by Ms Universe

SA. Hilarious. Too bad not many people enjoyed or even caught the joke.. Sigh… And of course, again I almost teared when Cheng Ho finally admitted that he is not really a man and that he had spent all his life trying to prove that he is a man and can only come to terms with it like when Zhu Di is killed. Sad. And how alike that is to everyone. We try oh so hard to be someone else. We are always trying to prove to ourselves that we are not who we are. How many people can actually say that they have accepted themselves 100%? No. We are always faulting ourselves, even if we know we shouldn’t. Not that the Singaporean education + work environment is very much of a help…

The gahment should watch this. They should stop supporting mindless brainless plainly entertaining shows like Sleeping Beauty where the main and the only aim is to please & get funding. Truly educational and inspiring shows get minimal or no funding. What crap logic is that..

Anyway, I just digressed.. That is for another time, another blog.

Longhouse – Feb 15, 2006

If there was a word worse than ‘disastrous’, that’d be what I’d use to describe Longhouse. Everything was just wrong! Nothing went well in the show tonight. I really don’t know if I should give them a break cos it IS their first show and I, of all people, should know that opening shows are always screwed. Anyway, I have to start my bitching somewhere…

Set:
It wasn’t very impressive. Interesting concept of using unsymmetrical gridlines to make up doors, windows, mirrors and leaving quite a bit to the audience’s imagination. Most of the ‘furniture’ was made up of old newspaper stacks which was intriguing at first but not fully made use of. It would have been even more expressive and meaningful if the newspapers actually made up part of the journey of the characters and not just some other bed or table or sofa… The bonsai thing was too ridiculous. If more branches poked through the empty spaces in the grid during the big sister’s rather dreary monologue about the character in her book, it would have been more symbolic. It is currently very flat and is simply a backdrop.. A dropdown back drop might have worked for this purpose. And if the upstage part fo the grid was smaller, I feel the contrast would have been better when the characters walk from downstage up, where the mother’s room was supposed to be relatively.

Lights:
This is my biggest qualm of the entire play. I hate, absolutely HATE, plays with many blackouts. It spoils the rythmn of the whole piece, breaks the audience’s concentration and really cuts the flow of the story. And the lights are so unimaginative, no fun, no creativity at all. I can do just as well. What’s with the wash!? I feel as if I’m watching a Brechtian wannabe’s design work. This is definitely Dorothy’s worst work. Is Toy too poor to get coloured gels and moving lights and gobos???? At least some COLOUR would be appreciated. Something other than yellow and orange.

Sound:
I think the problem is with the operator. I don’t know if this op is new or what but the cue points were wrong, there was no feel for the play, the music didn’t build up correctly. It was either too fast or too slow. It was as if the op was either sleeping or retarded or has bad brain-hand coordination.

Cast:
Lines were fluffed and everyone overacted. Performance was over the top. Too much expression, too much angst too much everything. A little more subtlety would have greatly improved the overall enjoyability of the play. And I couldn’t catch 70% of what they were saying, especially the fighting parts.

Direction:
I’ve come to this conclusion that Nelson’s best for acting. That’s probably about it. And stage acting to be more specific. The play was too loose. The momentum builds up and drops suddenly, leaving the audience hanging in mid-air gasping for breath. Not always a bad thing, but not for this kind of play with a moving-forward timeline.

Script:
Some funny parts but that’s all. Boon Teck tries to be sarcastic and ‘suan’ the government and politics but it turns out too contrived, it’s like having constipation and trying too hard to shit. When you actually do shit it out, you bleed as well. He’s not a fantastic writer as it is and this script is not helping his reputation. He should just stick to set designing.

The Promise – Dec 27, 2005

It was…. so predictably disappointing.. Cecilia Cheung was bad.. Just as I expected. Nicholas Tse made my eyes feel like falling off from too much rolling, as predicted. Story was damn lame, not that I thought it would be any better.

The show would have been much better in terms of asthetics if not for the excessive use of CGI. And by saying excessive, it’s by MY terms and not industry. In a Chen Kaige movie, excessive = a CGI petal falling for 1 min. THAT is excessive. I mean I love to watch sci-fi movies with lots of CGI effects. Hello? Look at Shrek. It was horrendously farnie! To the max! But this is a Chen Kaige movie! What’s CGI doing there? I’m a freaking purist I know but I can’t help it! This IS a Chen Kaige movie! I’ve been spoilt. The olden non-CGI days were better and he made better movies.. Like “Farewell My Concubine aka 霸王別姬”. THAT is asthetics.

Ok. I digress. Back to “The Promise”. Acting was generally bad. To be more exact, the acting of Nicholas & Cecilia was bad. The way Nic portrayed that rejected-by-a-girl-from-young-and-that-turned-him-a-little-mad guy was *ahem* terrible, and that is an understatement. Cecilia’s role’s perfect for her. The ‘perfect’ little concubine for the ‘perfect’ little vase. All she had to do was to be there looking vampy & pretty. Vampy she is. Pretty she’s not.

There were saviours of the show though. Hiroyuki Sanada, who played the General, was amazing! His acting was just right with just the correct amount of expression and emotion. Veteran really IS a vetaran. No wonder why Japanese serials are so much more popular. Their actors really can act.

But the one person I was most touched by, the ONLY one who made me shed tears… Liu Ye. OMFG! I totally couldn’t recognise him at all as the Ghost Wolf cos the character was disfigured in a fire and had his face covered most of the time. But but.. Amazing acting! His character forbade him to have much facial expressions and posture but his eyes… OMG his eyes told everything! All his regret, his bliss at redemption. It was all written in his expressive eyes! Now THAT’s what ruku calls ACTING!

Those vases should go learn something from all these world-class actors they always collaborate with. And not create bullshit news on the papers everyday. Go get some knowledge!

UMWA

The UMWA – Ultimate Money Wasting Activity.

Toto/4D/Scratch and what not. What everyone else calls small betting. Betting for the fun of it. No harm. Buying a small hope. Whatever.

i don’t understand. Do the maths. The total amount one spends on buying lottery is definitely very much less than the total amount you actually win! Why is it that Singaporeans flock to lottery kiosks and buy lottery like there’s no tomorrow?? Is it some betting gene in us that makes us attracted to lottery like metal to magnet? Or like flies to shit? No wonder the government is so sure that the casino will be okay-ed here. Singaporeans are probably some kind of betting addict.

The worst thing is that almost everyone, even if you are living on a tight budget.. Or you don’t have much money in that POSB bank account, or if you are really living hand to mouth, you will stand in the queue every Thursday to “buy hope”. What a fucked up world.

One number for 4D costs a MINIMUM of $2 for ONE day. That can buy me char kuay teow at the market. LUNCH. Usually people won’t buy for one day. They’d buy both Sat & Sun. So that’s $4. One bowl of noodles at the foodcourt. One meal. And usually people won’t buy one number. They’d fill one sheet of betting slip, which can fit 4 numbers. And for 2 days. Min $16 for every betting slip!!! That’s enough to last me lunch for 4 days!

What a waste of money! And what do they say when you kindly remind them that it’s a huge fucking waste of good money? They dig up instances where their number won and they DIDN’T buy! Excuse me?? How about the numberous times you BOUGHT the number and it DIDN’T win?? How about the equally numberous times you didn’t buy and it didn’t win???

These people ignore the blatant fact that betting on lottery is a fucking waste of time, money and energy. There’s some fancy name that psychologists give to such mentality that after my 3 years in NUS, I’ve forgotten. That was a waste as well anyway.

Someone should ban lottery buying and sue Singapore Pools for corrupting the minds of Singaporeans.

letter to Krishen

Dear Krishen,

I miss you. I miss already. Melvin messaged me a couple of hours ago and told me you were gone.

I remember the first time I met you. It was my first rehearsal for “Prelude to a Kiss” at Action’s Room Upstairs. You struck me as this terribly old man who sits there, and not actively chatting up anyone. You were nice and warm when we greeted and had a nice handshake. I remember I was amazed by you, by how you could sit there and sleep but miraculously wake up when actors screw up or miss lines. So amazing. I remember too, that you were so calm when I was so panicky when the songs were not decided and it was only a few days till the bumpin. I’ve never done any show where the house music was confirmed only during the bump-in. And some of the show songs too. You kept telling me that everything was cool and you could work with anything we had. I also remember that ‘ritual’ of praying and feasting before we left the rehearsal space. Such an experience it was, when you talked about the spirits of the venue and how we were to thank them for letting us share the space with them and pray that they would protect us when we go to the new space.

I remember how you and Mac were quibbling over the lights. The one thing I remember clearly is how Mac would call you the “stupid old man”. *snigger* It was so sweet to see two long-time companions calling each other names but really knowing that it was all in good friendly jest.

The time you disappeared during the post-production party of “Prelude”and we had to search high and low for you. Bee Bee was so anxious. Haha. I also remember how you forced me to eat that chocolate cake for Caroline’s birthday. All my 20 years I never had a cake stuffed in my mouth before. >
And just when I thought I’d never have the chance to work with you again, I was roped in to do “Visit of the Tai-tai”. Yaay! I remember the warm feeling when I saw you again, sitting at the director’s table with your eyes closed. I could see that you were happy to see me again and so was I. “Visit” would have been doubly boring if not for you hanging around all night. We would fuss over whether you had a chair to sit, reminding you to take your medicine or not to take so much sweet things. I still remember how you always fondly complain that Juraidah treats you as if you were going to die. Sigh.

It was also fun going out for supper with you, Pauline, Vivianne and Ying Qi. Porridge at Chinatown! It was amusing hearing your recount of how you thought everyone didn’t like you during some old show and only knowing then that they were just afraid of you! Haha..

I’ll pray for you Krishen. I’ll pray even though I’m not a Christian or Catholic. I believe good people will go to heaven and I’ll pray.

Goodbye Krishen. Goodbye. I’ll miss you. WE’ll miss you. Goodbye.

RIP.

Lots of Love,

Reene