Monday, March 17, 2008

Theatre Idols – Finals
Action Theatre
Reviewer: Ng Yi-Sheng
Esplanade Concert Hall

What a surprise – out of nowhere, young playwrights Jacke Chye and Christine Sim have appeared wielding remarkably solid scripts at this competition for new Singapore plays. Better still, their plays are completely different creatures, and both rather good: Chye's Catching Adam Cheng is a cute, feel-good comedy about four women escaping from their old folks' home to catch an Adam Cheng concert, with well-drawn characters, strong motivations and good pacing, while Sim's Numb is a mad Sarah Kane-esque psychodrama of sex, sadism and alienation, centred around the character of a surgeon who finds she is slowly losing her sense of touch. Both writers fall into the trap of spouting platitudes, and a whole lot of deadweight's had to be shed between the first reading and this presentation. But it's clear that the theatre writing scene has two new faces to contend with. Let's hope they stick it out. (Since you're curious: Catching Adam Cheng won the audience's vote, but if you ask me, it's the more dangerous Numb that brings something fresh to the table. And it bleeds.) (Oh yes, and acting-wise Jeremy Lee got the audience award, but if you ask me it was Esther Yap whose comic and psychotic roles really carried the day. I just gotta be contrary.)


This first impressions review first appeared on The Flying Inkpot and has been archived here for posterity.

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