Last night was the Chinese society's drama presentation. A double-bill generally featuring dead people. Must be the latest trend or something.
The first item centred around a retarded boy. Or rather, because the boy was retarded, attention went to him by default. Maybe it's just my bias, but I'm fed-up of the tendency to milk the character of the 'retard' for sympathy and cheap drama. It doesn't take a lot of skill to literally "play the fool." Just act irrationally by randomly and abruptly changing behaviour patterns, and absolutely refuse to engage the script except in response to such stimulus that triggers off the most basic of reptilian brain functions.
It would have been better if the script had at least tried to develop some complexity to his character, but instead all it led up to was his inexplicable self-defenestration. Basically, he was stupid, therefore he fell out the window. That's one way to put the audience out of our misery, I suppose.
The second piece was an improvement from the earlier one. A delinquent kid gets pretty much into everyone's bad books. His little girlfriend discovers the grief that lies behind his unmotivated hyperactivity (ooh, ooh, oxymoron), while his superstitious granny makes him confront it, bringing him back into society's fold once again.
A more coherent plotline in this one, more realistic towards human behaviour and experience. The interaction between delinquent and granny had its amusing moments, especially when granny attempts to exorcise spirits from him, and the moments between him and girlfriend were quite sweet.
Strange choice of set placement in which the park set is smack centre-stage flanked by living-room set on SL and dining-room SR. It looks like there is a park in the middle of the apartment, when the two locations start alternating with each other. Visually confusing but one gets used to it after a while.
And, yes, there's still a tendency to rely on the blackout, but at least scene changes are much faster, reducing wait-in-the-dark time to a minimum.
Chinese Society's annual "Bai Yun Gang" event has its own identity and a very strong support base of students and alumni. It was nearly full house in LT4 last night, and it's sold out tonight as well. Hope NYeDC can capture similar commercial success, as well as critical success this year. Break a leg, guys!