Review Theatre

Pulau – Mar 9, 2005

Aiyo… Suddenly I watch so many productions at a go. Watched Pulau with KC today. Written by How Wee & directed by Adrian Tan. Actors are Judy Ngo & Edric Hsu. Ok. Descriptions aside, here’s my set of comments.

I thought the show was ok. As in, it’s a very How Wee kind of play. Sparse, episodic and very all-over-the-place kind of style. Adrian did a semi-Brechtian. The set was a very simple circle of sand with a big screen behind and TVs at the two sides. The show was rated R(18) but alas, except for a few cheebyes and a couple of KNNs… That’s all. What R(18)?? All the sexual scenes were like Edric trying to take of Judy’s bra clasp which was so obviously a sports bra.. >< And Judy masturbating back-facing us. Ah-duh… I’ve seen more rated stuff than THAT.. Anyway, that’s not the issue.

The main thing was the talk-back session. About halfway through the session, I regretted hanging around. It totally spoilt the whole experience for me. There I was, slowly making sense and meaning out of what I had just seen and there people are asking about wanting answers to the questions raised in the play. The worst part was when Adrian said all about how he was doing a Beckett and how the columbarian was linked to the HDB flats he showed on multi-media (which I disliked tremendously) and how some of the parts were purposely made as a remembrance to KPK (not to be rude or disrespectful, but AGAIN????? ) I felt a sense of losing as I was listening to all these questions and “answers”. Instead of gaining some insight into the play, I felt as if I had lost the crux of the matter and the main issue and the strand of thought. I had been deprived of the ability to think for myself, to allow myself to discover new things about the play that may add to my appreciation of it. Alas, the talk-back session effectively killed all that.

Judy’s acting was not bad. Pretty good. But I hate it when she contorts her face when she’s crying. It feels too over-acting and very fakish to me. Edric, sad to say, was the weakest between the two fo them. He was very stiff and fluffed his lines, though fluffing lines can be due to nerves. He was not captivating and often when it’s his long speech alone, he makes me feel restless and distracted.

All that aside, it was fun meeting old friends there. Was amazed & amused to see Terence though (almost didn’t recognise him at first ‘cos didn’t expect him to be at a CHINESE play). Never thought he could understand chinese. Hur hur. And I saw Qing Shui (I think that’s his name…) which was a pleasant surprise ‘cos I hadn’t seen him since the AJ CLDDS Alumni performance I think.

Review Theatre

Errorism – Mar 8, 2005

I can’t decide who I like better. Baobao’s or Zai’s.

Baobao’s piece was easy to understand. Well, maybe I am quite used to her style of presentation so I know what she wants to show when she does certain things. And the baby part just seems so familiar. Maybe she’s done something like this before, maybe it’s so much her style. But what I feel was not enough about her performance is that she could have pushed the audience more. There were certain parts where I felt a tug at my heart but it stopped at that. If Baobao went further, it would have made me cry. The emotion would have been deeper and I would have felt more for the piece. I like the comic relief and the sound bites though. It’s a good bite at those silly things politicians say about the Iraq war. However, the audience was a bit too cold. I mean, some of us felt that the MacDonald’s & Coca-cola parts were really funny, as well as the “It’s nothing like show business” song & politician part. But the only people who laughed or even giggled were me, Melvin, Yati & Seok Ai. Well, maybe those at the top did but WTH..

On the other hand, Zai’s piece was really abstract. He started off the piece by flashing a slideshow of the poem “To the Reader” by Charles Baudelaire. Then all he did was walk around the stage, went on the platform and basically moved in ultra slow-motion, sometimes smashing chairs, sometimes snarling and growling, sometimes romoving his clothes and touching himself. It made absolutely no sense at all iitially. The only thing was that the sound was deafeningly loud and because I was sitting near the sub-woofers, the bass made my heart thump ever so terribly. I swore my eardrums would burst if I sat there for another 15mins. I kept waiting. Waiting for him to do something. To show me some meaning of what he is doing. Anything at all. At the end of his piece, he finally went to the pot, which had water dripping into it from the grids and the sound captured with a condensor, took it up and drak the water that was dripping from the top. Then Yuen Chee Wai came over, both took off their belts and all he did was to drop the metal part into the pot, making a very loud and crisp sound. But the ending slideshow came and I finally understood what he was doing. He was simply re-enacting all that was written in the poem. And the root of all evil, it seems, is not money. It simply is BOREDOM.

Thanks to Mel who accompanied me to watch this amazing performance. And hello to Yati who I met there. Damn. Forgot to get hp number. Well, we’ll meet again. And hi again to Seok Ai, Kong Hui, Catherine, Heng Leun, Simin & KC whom I met there. ^__^


What Big Bombs You Have

Yaay! The show has ended!! Even with the lights problems, I guess it went well. The rest of the shows were almost all perfect shows with no big problems at all. So here are my usual thank Yous!

Wow. It’s going to be really short cos there are only so few production people!!! Haha.

Joanna – Hur hur. I got very good karma one. Ha ha.

Shelia – You little abused child you. Tiger Balm really very powderful right? It’s my secret weapon leh.

Hidayah – Your crazy antics and laughter really made the production more fun to be in. I won’t forget the ‘Chi Hua Hua’ and the ‘Hu Lao Lao’..

Jed – Aiyoh. I never met anyone more lame than you man. But I am really amazed you like tofu toys. I rarely meet (ok. Make that never) a guy who collects tofu toys like crazy.

Vivianne – So the Mr Lim thing didn’t work out ah? Not noisy enough for you issit? Tell us what type you like we matchmake for you. Hahhahahaha!

Sook Fong – This time is you at the board with me ah, not hidden behind the curtains. We had leg strengthening exercises for 1.5 hours twice a day. I think I very fit now.

Nic – Free 1 whole bar of chocolate ah. Such a good deal. Though i don’t understand why you like white chocolate so much.

Hossan – This is like the 3rd time we worked together? I will miss you.. and your plunger. But I will probably miss your plunger more.

Enlai – Wah lauz. You and your diva-ish nonsense. Haha! And I would have fainted if I was the one who saw you about to shit. Anyway, “Enlai, when was the last time you had sex?”

Chermaine – I always very nice one leh. Not to you only. Haha.

Alin – “Eh Mamak” “Should I use green or red cherries for the gingerbread man’s nose?” I love your humor and neverending joy that you give to everyone around you!!!

Gene – You really love to sing. Or you sing before every show to just warm up? ^_~


Days of Our Lives

Well, technically this post has got nothing to do with that never-ending soap opera. This is more like my ranting post.

“What Big Bombs You Have” is ending soon. Tomorrow night to be exact. Well, the show is really tiring cos a lot of concentration and energy is needed for every show but to be really truthful, I enjoyed it. It’s one of those small tight team where everyone is comfortable with each other and conflict is tried to be kept at a minimum. Tried is the key. There was tension definitely & inevitably but I guess everybody kept their cool and no screaming battles ensued.

Working with Hossan, Enlai, Chermaine & Alin was amazingly great. The atmosphere was relaxed and generally happy. We cracked jokes about other people, they entertained us and really, it was fun. I can’t exactly say the same for Gene though. I mean, I try not to be biased but geez. How boring can a man get? How terribly so? He tells a joke and laughs at it himself, when nobody thinks its funny. During the talkback sessions, when he’s asked a question, he goes totally off-tangent and talks about absolutely irrelevant things. Even Sook Fong & Joel can’t stand him. And they have only seen him in action for what? Less than a week??? If everybody thinks so, it’s not my problem. Or is it?

The Esplanade lights cock-up news has traveled far. Even Zhiwei knows about it from Huiling. Gee. Their reputation as world-class theatre venue has probably dropped a couple of notches. I am going to reiterate the incident, since I never blogged about it. Anyway, on the opening afternoon, there was already a couple of lights that were out of focus, and at the wrong spot or went to blackout instead of dimming. But the worst thing was that in the evening, the board could not even work. There was officially no lights. They brought in a backup light board and still nothing. Finally, it was decided that the night show would be cancelled and this information was passed to the audience and arrangements were made for them to either watch the Adolf-Anthology double bill or to come back if we have an extra show this Sunday night. So that’s settled.

The next day, we were told that the lights were fixed and they found the problem. Apparently they stayed till 1am in the morning to fix that. Jo did a cue-to-cue and it seemed really alright. So we happily started show#2. To our horror, 3/4 into the show, the lights on the stage right half went totally off. Nothing could work. In the end, we had to survive with only half the lights. The only partially redeeming part was that the final part of the show was basically pretty much concentrated on the stage left side, which was partly lit. When the show was over, Nat practically screamed her head off at Yadi, the lighting guy. A mini-screaming battle started.

I wouldn’t say any of them was in the wrong for the battle because I understand Nat’s frustration of having the lights fail trice in a row. However, Yadi did try his best to help salvage the situation. All those over the cans heard him and Jo trying to fix the problem or at least find some ways to give more lights to the stage. Both were caught in the situation where they were so frustrated and stressed that anything could just break their patience. In the end, Shiyun came round and got the full story. Apparently, they route from the lighting board to the dimmer through this equipment, which Shiyun didn’t say, and it’s that equipment which was faulty, both during the cancelled show as well as the current show. Shiyun told them to just go directly from board to dimmer and not through that equipment, lest it faults again. Of course Nat went to apologise to Yadi and all seemed well in the end. Well, at least on the outside.

That’s the story of the faulty lights. We met Shaoann today and he was telling us how it always happens. Either it’s the power or the dimmer trip or something. We begin to wonder if Esplanade is really world-class. How world-class can we be if such things happen all the time. Not to mention the roof still leaks after so many years.

Anyway, my usual Thank you post will be coming up.. Monday I suppose…



I am so god-damned tired. I have been standing for the whole day today. Well, more or less the whole day. And the whole of Monday night.

Gosh. Esplanade is so freaking stupid. Such a humongous place and their control room is so bloody small. If I put 2 chairs, I won’t have space to move about. Plus, they don’t even have those plastic chairs. Give me those cushioned roller chairs in such small space.

Then, they have those soundproofing padding.. But the whole sound control room is open what! I mean there’s no window or door or anything… What the Fuck! Wast money only. But I have to admit la, their board damn smooth. Wah lauz.. I push the fader also shiok. Haha..

Today’s update very anyhow. So singlish. Machiam those cannot speak English Ah Huay liddat. Cannot be bothered liao la… Damn sian..

I learnt some new swear words. Hu Lao Lao & Chi Hwa Hwa… That is another longggg story…

But then again, this production.. I never regretted doing it instead of Dangerous Liaisons. Aiyo. First they pay me more. Then production everybody I know one. Cast all can be standup comedians. The only jialat part is the standing la…

I think I am going to lose some weight…….. *yawn*