Plays Watched in 2013

New Year resolution fulfilled. Watched 12 shows for 2013.

theatre2013

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TS1101E – Introduction to Theatre and Drama

As my school term came to a closure, it marks the end of my first year in NUS.

I’m sure my peers would agree with me that the most time consuming module they took this semester was also their favourite. Needless to say, TS1101E is also my favourite module.

Sure… I still doesn’t like studying theories, but the practical portion of it was fun enough.

We took two and a half weeks to prepare for our final practical exam which we were required to put up a 20 minute excerpt of a well known play. We chose Six of the Best by Tan Tarn How. A local play written on the issue of racism in Singapore.

… and we only have 5 members. So it’s five of the best.

The best of the best. 😉

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Set making consumes most of my time. Loads of sweat went into the making of this 3 x 3 metres newspaper-mache wall which have to be combined within a few minutes during the set up.

I still remembered during one of our rehearsal, some seniors came in while we were packing up and commented that nobody has ever put in that amount of effort for a level-1000 exposure module.

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And then comes Huat, a Hokkien speaking ah being who spews vulgarities! The best part of it was that it was Surendran who played Huat. We spent a few days looking for help in the translation bit and teaching a non-Chinese Hokkien.

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Tried very hard not to laugh during rehearsal. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Can’t seem to be really immersed in the character. FAIL FAIL FAIL!

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But anyhow, I’m deeply grateful for the efforts put into this dramatic performance by my team mates – Surendran, Gilchrist, Priscella and Gavin, despite the fact that TS1101E was not their core module. Most importantly, through it all we managed to forge a genuine friendship in this 2.5 weeks.

This may be the end of experiencing theatre for some of them, but it’s definitely the start for me. 2 more years to go! Go go go!

Huayi Festival: 18 Springs

I only managed to catch 18 Springs for this year’s Huayi fest due to a conflict in schedules. 😦

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However, I must say that I’m glad that the classic work of Eileen Chang in Mathias Woo’s rendition was really good.

I never tried reading the original story of Eighteen Springs. But I did watched the 1997 screenplay version that starred Leon Lai and Anita Mui.I felt that the stage version conveyed the emotions better than the movie.

Certain parts of the story were sung out by Jin Lisheng and Yu Qun, much like storytelling that is often accompanied by stringed musical instruments or commonly known as 弹词 in the 50s and 60s. As an audience, I felt like I was transported back in time, looking back at the tragic love story of Shijun and Manzhen.

There was particularly one part near the ending of the play that was very well put together, using a video of the meeting of Shijun and Manzhen 14 years after the tragedy happened:

女主角曼桢尝试把自己的遭遇告诉给男主角世钧听,但过了十四年后重逢却以平常心来诉说来龙去脉。

当时我对peng说道:其实重要的不是事,而是人。十四年后,时过境迁,一但人变得不重要了,事情也是如此。

Many times it is not the event itself that we remembered. It is the person that we spent our time with together that makes the moment memorable.

Hopefully the important people in our lives are still with us years later.

Lao Jiu: The Musical

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First time watching a musical.

I didn’t catch the first musical adaption of Lao Jiu in 2005, and I’m glad TTP has restaged it this year for the Kuo Pao Kun festival.

The experience was rather fresh and exciting for me. I’m always awed by large scales performances. This adaptation wasn’t too serious and there were also bits of bitter scenes in the musical which reminded me of the times I was and wasn’t doing well in school.

Lao Jiu has a wonderful creative team led by Director Kuo Jian Hong, with the script adapted by Liu Xiaoyi. The lyrics by Xiao Han and songs composed by Eric Ng are so beautiful, not forgetting the awesome dance choreography by Asst. Director/ choreographer by George Chan and the beautiful puppets made by Benjamin Ho from Paper Monkey Theatre. A pity that the set and puppets was underused.

I’m also liking romance part in the musical and the duets performed by Inch Chua and Sugie. The cast were also fantastic. Sugie surprised me for playing the role Lao Jiu, and the ensemble team was rather strong, despite there were some weaker ones in the team. However I feel that they somehow managed to balance it out when they were performing the song numbers.

They will be showing Lao Jiu: The Musical until 29/7, so just check out sistic website to get the tickets.

Light Matters

Today I saw an art installation at this chapel in Sculpture Square.

I’m no artsy fartsy kind of person (despite my interest in theatre), I can’t appreciate paintings, photographs or cheem music lyrics… but I try to.

Viewing a light installation is my first time. Titled Light Matters 《拾光》by lighting designer Lim Woan Wen, this installation uses sunlight that passes through a tiny window into the chapel at certain time of the day.

It is not just a collaboration with the sun but environment, weather and time as well. The occasional noise coming from the nearby construction site could be the ambience music to our ears, while shadows of the leaves danced to the music on the wall.

Watching sunlight crept through the room required a lot of patience but can be very rewarding. I guess sometimes us urban dwellers need to take a step back to enjoy this peace and quietness offered amidst the bustling city.

It was like watching a painting moving across the room, filling the blank walls and empty spaces with fleeting moments of happiness. Once you missed it, you will never see it again.

Light, as powerful as it may sound, seems fragile in this context.

瞬间流逝的光,剩下的只是遗憾因为美好的时光看得到但握不住。

I’m very grateful to have this chance to experience such beautiful installation. Thank you Darren and Woan Wen for the magnificent creation.

Highly recommended. This installation ends at 1st July 2012. Admission is free because the most beautiful thing on earth doesn’t require money. Check out the Facebook page for more details.

Still a Work in Progress

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三个月的付出,《何处一盏灯》终于告一个段落。

Through Peng’s recommendation I got to know this excellent director Jalyn Han, and these 3 months spent on this production I also got to know a new bunch of amazing people from all walks of life.

I recalled myself being very meticulous and clear headed back in the drama days but after 4 years not doing anything theatre related, I think I’m still in the period of adjustment.

I feel that this production is an actual start of the journey I’m walking. Every rehearsal seemed like attending drama class and learning skills again from scratch. I considered this production my virgin work and I’m so grateful to meet an excellent production team who would tolerate me being a nervous wreck. 谢谢你们帮我善后了!

It is hard work but I truly enjoy every moment of it. It has really re-ignite my passion for theatre.

Reading back what I just typed, I don’t know if I made any sense. I feel like I’m in a trance state right now, and all my thoughts are jumbled up.

Hopefully I will get to work with these amazing people again.

感恩。:)

Ho Am I

After 3 months of hard work, this production will finally be showing this Saturday.

This will be my first time working backstage as an assistant stage manager. It’s tough work but I learnt a lot!

Ho Am I will be showing this weekend, do give your support! All proceeds will go to the Elderly Day Care centre managed by Man Fut Tong. Tickets are available at Sistic.