A Language of Their Own, 30 March to 9 April 2006 Esplanade Theatre Studio
presented by checkpoint theatre
written by Chay Yew, directed by Casey Lim
with Koey Foo, Phin Wong, Mark Waite, Peter Sau as cast and Ken Ikeda and Laichan as designers
Before I go into the review proper, I'm trying out at Videoblogging as part of that Videoblogging Week thingie. I've videoblogged before, this isn't my first time, but I'm never been that satisfied with my videoblogs and hence never posted any of those up here before. My videoblogs are just like my normal blogs, I'm just as long winded and just as crappy and just as camwhorish.
This first part of my videoblog...
My videos are all uploaded on YouTubeIf you look by my sidebar, there's a link to my youtube videos. I think I can get a link to my youtube profile, but it only shows the recent videos, and if, I mean IF I have lots of videos, you can't really view a whole list of my videos on youtube. Then I had this stroke of ingeniuity. Since I tag all my videos as "xxoos", you can just run a search tag for "xxoos" and there'll be a whole list of my videos. That link in my side bar actually brings you to all videos tagged "xxoos". My Flickr photos, those that I took myself and not copied from the web, are also all tagged "xxoos". It's very easy to locate me that way, especially I've 3 flickr accounts.
Okay, I go on to the second part of the videoblog...
Now I go into the review for the play. yea... I'm still a traditional at heart, I cannot, am unable to, videoblog a review. So words shall take over my heavily blushed face and I'll let my fingers engage with you. It's still running, so if interested can always call 6348 5555 or go to Esplanade's website to buy tickets. It's $33, NUS TS students have 25% discount. My first videoblog will explain which I paid for and why.
The free booklet and a little something extra...
This is the first time I've ever held a condom in my hand. Surprised? Oh well... That's not the topic in question today anyway.
A Language of Their Own talks about the lives of a pair of homosexual lovers who broke up and found new partners and their lives with their new partners, and about the problems faced between couples, commitment issues, infidelity, public opinion, AIDS. We are brought to see their emotions, their feelings, their intimacy. And in the end, their resolve.
Jinwei, Jinsen and Audrey didn't really felt that much about it, but I did. Coming from a person who've been through commitment issues, infidelity, possibly public (dis)opinion about certain social mores, I can feel what the characters are going though. Luckily (choy choy, touch wood touch wood), I haven't been through the AIDS problem, and I hope I will never. But I did thought about caring for a person till death, through sickness and stuff though. Possibly, it's what that you've been through before that makes you feel for certain characters.
The traditional, 30+ almost successful in career person, the kind of man who cannot express himself easily, but uses actions in place of words. I see a lot of someone else in him.
He's a very interesting character. After the show, someone asked if Daniel did loved Oscar. I said yes, definitely. But then there was one part, where Daniel said he felt awkward when he saw Oscar sitting down in the middle of IKEA, he didn't know if he should go over and acknowledge Oscar. From some of Daniel's monologues, we also understand that sometimes he does resent Oscar for being sick, all his emphasis on him being "fine" further reiterates that he in fact is not fine. But I still believe he loves Oscar. Because I understand.
I see a lot of me in Daniel. I felt the resentment before, the shame and the humility in my Oscar. Sometimes I really despise him for being him, but well, as much as I hated all that, I loved all that. I would, like Daniel take care of him when he needed even though he might still have loved Ming.
In all contradictions, I also feel for Ming. That's my problem, and I admit that that will always be my problem.
Jinwei asked an interesting question. Why must this story be about homosexuals? Put this story into the context of two males and two females, it would still work out. Yes. I wouldn't see this as a why question. Instead, I see A Language of Their Own as making use of this gay couple to bring out the problems faced by any other couple. Infidelity, commitments, AIDS, trust, caring for each other, etc are faced by every other kind of couples homosexual or hetrosexual. Even public opinion and public display for affections, some couples also can face these problems when one is more shy and introvert than the other. Also, Jinsen put it very well, it can be acted by school children too, and they also face the problem of public opinion when they go out.
On the whole the acting is superb. Koey Foo as Oscar was solid, he was able to comtrol his emotions well. The only thing disappointing was that the masturbation scene was a bit the unreal and out of place, but that's more of a problem I should be posing to the director. Phin Wong as Ming was impressive, I like the way he thrusts out all his emotions and feelings to a slightly hysterical stage. Almost like myself when I go crazy. Peter Sau as Daniel, was still Peter Sau, he still have yet acted something that I can not recognise him as Peter Sau, but I liked his hissy fits though, and the deepening of his character as the play goes on. Mark Waite as Robert was the weakest among the actors, just couldn't really feel much about him.
According to the director's note, the play was written about a decade ago, which means that there is no such thing as handphones, well... It was in fact very odd that there's a whole big issue about leaving messages on answering machines and changing of numbers when moving out. In today's context, there's always SMS to solve much problems and number won't change unless you want to. Maybe there should have been an update in the script.
But saying this, I must be aware that I, and my group of friends, are definitely not the target group of audience for this play.
Peeping around the audience, we looked to be about almost the youngest. And majority of the audience are homosexuals, so... Jinwei quipped, "Lucky you and Audrey came too. (Because I was a bit reluctant earlier on, watch my videoblogging for the details)If me and Jinsen came alone, people would definitely think (that they were gay)." Well, Jinwei and Jinsen aren't called Brokeback by us for nothing. hmm... I remember Jinsen once shot a short film called The Video starring him and Jinwei before, must show it one day. "And luckily me and Jinsen weren't sitting next to each other." We were sitting from left to right, Audrey Jinsen me Jinwei, which on hindsight, a very good sitting arrangement, but we just sat like that by coincidence only la... hehehe~
I have nothing against homosexual relationships as long as female ever falls for me. In fact, I just see each homosexual couple as two people who loves each other and they just happen to be of the same gender. But then again, I can't seem to find myself tolerating lesbians as much as I can tolerate gays, I don't know why. Maybe I've been reading too much shonan comics already. hmm...