Monday, June 01, 2009

Shaking speares in the park

Oh, what an evening! It's closing night for "Much Ado About Nothing" and we the audience are sitting on our picnic mats on the grand slope of Fort Canning Hill overlooking the amphitheatre. We, meaning Amy, B-lo, HP, June and me. Around us is a packed house and lost in the midst are a number of our students who happened to choose the same day as us to go.

The heavens were merciful and held off the rain so we could enjoy shaking our speares in the park for the entire evening. Our picnic was a simple affair compared to what some of the other revellers around us brought. But we were very happy with our own buns and sausages, potato salad and grapes, and other miscellaneous post-meal snacks. When else do we get to eat our way through a literary performance without looking anti-social?

The performance was entirely enjoyable. The cast delivered Shakespeare in a most accessible way, sounding very much like plain English which would have been reassuring to anyone in the audience apprehensive about sitting through a whole evening of Elizabethan chatter. The play is a comedy and and the performance delivered loads of verbal humour and sight gags that we might never get to experience from just reading the text alone. Hope our lit kids in the audience will look at Shakespeare through new eyes after this.

The set was particularly intriguing in that it was elaborate without being fussy, nothing extraneous but everything purpose-built with depth and character. We are in the courtyard of colonial bungalow with a swimming pool at left. The pool contained enough water to swim a couple of strokes in, so it wasn't there just for show. The bungalow set was a series of tall, narrow doors and opening louvres that opened out into the courtyard, revealing a long dining room set behind them. While character asides take place in the courtyard, dinner is going on in the background clearly visible to the audience. That makes for a set that looks like there's a whole world that's living and breathing behind the action that takes place onstage. Amazing.

Another evening well-spent with good food, good company and good entertainment. :D

1 comment:

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