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.