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Monday, July 20, 2009

"People who say you're just as old as you feel are all wrong, fortunately." - Russell Baker


Own Time Own Target


Baldie was nice enough to give me a pair of tickets to the re-staging of Own Time Own Target, so I could see what had changed (besides Radio Silence being axed). 2.0 claims that there are "new songs, new jokes, new cast members and a new set design", but comparing this with what I remmeber form last year, the changes made have been more evolutionary than revolutionary (read the review I wrote last year if you haven't already, as that mostly still holds and this one builds on it).

On the up side, most of the actors seemed more natural this time and the comedy dynamics had been tightened, likely due to experience on both their and the hidden personnel's part (though I think LeRoy in Full Tank was a tad better last year, bringing out more of the pathos). The sets also look less cheap, and in Botak Boys a rotating stage now means some interesting things can be done with perspective. A few lines were also updated due to H1N1 and the re-capture of Mas Selamat, making it seem less a product of its time than 12 Stories does today.

On the other hand, the crossdressing seems worse than last year (notably by the Mamasan). Also, the great song 302 in Botak Boys has lost one of its highlights - pink feather boas!!! And there's still the very problematic Malay in a tank.

Despite that ridiculous ST Forum letter, the laughs I heard were assuredly not because people "felt uncomfortable with the profanities", and the theatre was 80-85% full. So unless you're in National Slavery Fulltime (NSF), in which case I think your bookout time would be better spent doing something else, or you watched it last year (there hasn't been enough changed to justify paying more to watch pretty much the same production), it's a good way to spend 2 hours.

Own Time Own Target is on at the Drama Centre Theatre until the 25th of July. Tickets start from $34 (they only cost $30 last year!)

OTOT menu at Drama Centre cafe. Where's "Chestnut Rice with Chicken"?! Or Pulut Hitam, for that matter.

Another play I watched yesterday was the excellent Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead (by Tom Stoppard, whose name was oddly nowhere to be seen on the programme), which I was Tempted into watching, but about which I have no regrets.

It was put up by the generically-named "project yum!", a group of RJC and HCJC alumni (which explained why they spoke so well). The interpretation veered more towards the comedic side of tragicomedy, and the performances (of the major roles, anyway - i.e. the minor roles in Hamlet) were great.

The play itself was also a good example of The Theatre of the Absurd without being The Theatre of the Incomprehensible (I'm looking at you, Samuel Beckett).

Unfortunately yesterday was its last performance.
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