Yesterday was the end of the first term of TYC and boy was it sad. 😦
For the next term we’ll be only meeting maybe once or twice a month? And you guys know I have grown so accustomed to seeing my lovely playwrights every week and I love them to bits and it’s just so heartbreaking! 😦
Anyway, the workload is bearing down, so I guess we all need our own time & space to get our pieces out. Plus I will still see many of them unexpectedly at events because yeah the circle is that small. 🙂
After lunch with the playwrights at Saizeriya (it’s become our ‘usual’) I headed off for Korean and then to Encore IV: Love Life!
I remember being so excited about this show that early last week I already started posting things like “Can’t wait!” and doing free publicity (not that I mind). Then came the haze. And then TNS decided to cancel the shows.
What made the situation even worse was that people were complaining. Saying that TNS were wimps, that they were making mountains out of molehills, that they were being inconsiderate (without further elaboration). I read the comments and I recall feeling increasingly frustrated at them. Of course, this may have something to do with the fact that I had logged off Facebook several times during the haze period because I was so irritated at everything happening on my timeline, but this was a huge trigger. I don’t think TNS was wrong in their decision. In fact, I support them wholeheartedly. If a theatre company, which stands to lose a lot when it cancels shows, can cancel a show for the sake of the audience and the actors, then I don’t think we as an audience should be complaining, should we?
But I digress.
The show was fantastic.
Yes, I mean it. From the moment the lights went down and the actors came singing their way onto stage, I was hooked. The seniors were dazzling. All of them. Everything was so upbeat and jolly I couldn’t help but smile (nearing the end of a 12 hour action-packed day, this is a feat) and I just went into energizer bunny mode!
Encore IV: Love Life basically featured pieces from Haresh Sharma and my friend, Liansheng, and they were all so fantastic. For one, Dondang Sayang was a really good way of starting off the play and it scared me that I could sing every Chinese, Cantonese, Hokkien and English oldie that was played. D: Does that say something about me? Oh, sorry, I got ahead of myself. The core of this play is that all the actors were seniors. Except maybe 2-3? And the 2-3 younger ones, instead of stealing the limelight as I would’ve expected, they pushed the seniors into the limelight instead. Their presence on stage was amazing.
Okay, back to the plays. I remember crying during The Familiar Stranger because it was just so beautiful. There was this line that went “我已经爱上了等待” or “I have fallen in love with waiting” and the tears just flowed. Goodness. Same thing happened for Goodbye and Departure. These were pieces that I think most, if not all of the audience could relate to – the helplessness of a mother whose daughter feels like she doesn’t belong in Singapore, the pain of saying goodbye even if you don’t want to. The most lighthearted piece, The Familiar Stranger, had everyone in stitches. The uncle beside me was literally crying because it was so funny!
From the above you’ve probably guessed that the production was multi-lingual. English, Chinese, Malay, Cantonese, Hokkien.. they all added an extra dose of warmth to the play. Language is so powerful as a uniting factor.
Headed home after the play and remained dazed for the rest of the night because it was such a big-hearted play. :’) This reminds me more than ever the reason I am in theatre – people are, and will always be at the core of theatre. And to the company who most exemplified that fact by prioritizing people over profits, hats off.