Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Akan Datang : Melancholy Play by Sarah Ruhl ... presented by Couch Theatre

A few weeks ago, I was asked whether I could do an upcoming preview for a new production by a new theatre company, “Couch Theatre.” The play that they are staging is called "Melancholy Play by Sarah Ruhl." I gladly agreed (always open and willing to helping fledging theatre companies in any way I can) and also will do a review of the play after.

To be honest, I have never heard of “Melancholy Play” or either of “Sarah Ruhl.” So I did some research (via Wikipedia & FaceBook) to find out more as well as about Couch Theatre.  Couch Theatre in their FB page https://www.facebook.com/CouchTheatre) describe themselves as  an upbeat and offbeat theatre company made up of young adults brought together by their enduring fervour for the arts.’ Their aim is to ‘create theatre that brings an enriching emotional experience to a wider audience, giving the common Singaporean <like me> a reason to fall in love with the theatre..' Wow .. a very ambitious aim considering that the latest survey states that Singaporeans are generally very emotion-less. I personally feel that it is not that Singaporeans have no emotions .. it is just that they do not show it as much as others. I often see how angry they are when they miss the sale … or can feel and hear their frustration / anger when someone cuts into their lane on the road. The problem is that we cannot show emotions of happiness and joy in public or else people will say we are “siao lang.” I was once happily shuffling my feet to “Sorry, Sorry” in the MRT and people were staring at me like I should check myself into Woodbridge. That made me more self-conscious and more restrained. However, I must applaud Couch Theatre for their efforts and I hope they are successful. I will do what I can to help them out.
Which brings me to the production itself. What is meant by “melancholy?” When the word melancholy is mentioned .. what frequently comes to mind? A feeling of sadness? Dread? Depression? Sympathy? A ho-hum kind of feeling. From what I understand, Melancholy play is about how the feeling of “melancholy” can be interpreted in various forms and how it may not be such a bad feeling after all. It also aims to portray why some people choose to be melancholy as opposed to bring all bright and silly. In this I think that Couch Theatre made the right decision in choosing to stage this play in Singapore. I think the feeling of Melancholy is very much prevalent in Singapore society. Worries and depression about the high rising costs of living, about childrens’ education, about not being able to find a job, about getting the best grades in school and about being able to get the complete Hello Kitty set in McDonalds. We are wired to be pessimistic .. to look for the half empty glass. With this play, the audience should be able to connect with the theme and be able to feel the same way as the actors. Why am I so emo? Is this feeling of emo something I am comfortable with? Can I get out of it? Do I want to get out of it? How to people around me see me / feel when I am emo? I hope this will all be acted out. It is now all down to the actors …

So please support Melancholy Play by Couch Theatre. The tickets are very reasonable at $25/ticket. You can get more details at http://www.ticketmash.sg/melancholyplay       As they are new, this is a very limited run of only 4 shows so please get your tickets early. If you are tired of the typical ha-ha, dialect, slapstick theatre then maybe “Melancholy Play” is for you. Yeah I know currently life is depressing enough … but maybe after watching this .. Singaporeans may be more emo ?? Better than emo-less, Ho Hum..  Stay tuned for my review ….

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