Tonight was the annual meeting of Our White Cloud Gang. A sordid, crime-ridden affair it was. We witnessed a Kafka-esque human-to-mouse metamorphosis as the result of a series of betrayals. In the second half, there were several vignettes of other forms of crime such as (deep breath...) gun-running, slave trading (or maid hiring, I couldn't really tell), drug trafficking, sexual harassment, gambling, organized charity, all montaged together from the point of view of a tourist seeing the less touristy parts of town... or a channel surfer clicking through the TV Guide at random (I really couldn't tell).
This year I was unexpectedly bereft of subtitles, so the above was what I could surmise from interpreting movement and set, but the dialogue was way too inaccessible to make sense of, given my grasp of the language. But I guess that was the main problem I had with the proceedings. Everything else seemed to work well: music, dance, costumes, lighting and white-face makeup. Most of all, over the years, they finally learned the value of brisk, precise scene-changing avoiding long blackouts.
One thing I got quite annoyed with was the audience. The house was buzzing with a constant low rumble of distracted chatting. Looking ahead to our own Drama Night, it looks like we'll be facing a similar tough crowd that will not be quiet unless what's going onstage can truly catch its attention and hold it throughout.
A challenge, then!