There's just something about being on stage.
About portraying someone you're not.
About putting yourself in someone else's shoes, feeling what they feel, saying what they would say.
And being bigger than yourself.
I just (an hour ago) came back from watching Short +Sweet Theatre Penang, so I'm updating this post with a mini review. (More info and photos on their blog here.)
This year's short + sweet felt extremely lacklustre. Less than half of the plays had a solid storyline, and most of the acting felt rather meh.
- In My Mind - this felt like a shaky start to the whole show. It's a simple enough play about a guy who's stuck in a shitty job and is being convinced to try to kill his boss. There is some development in the short 10 minutes, but it wasn't a very compelling story. I think it could have been made much darker.
- Cargone - this was silly slapstick about two (really weird) guys who lose an imaginary car, and report it to the police, who look for the imaginary car... It's funny, sort of, but doesn't really lead up to anything.
- Revenge of the Ugly Step Sisters: A Rewritten Fairytale - I found this utterly confusing, partially because of the Malay slang/patois they were using (especially when they whined/screamed the words and I couldn't make out what they were saying), partially because the story felt increasingly erratic as it went on...
- A Thick Skin - I suppose this was an attempt to be educational. Maybe it was written in conjunction with the Tapir fest thing - the whole story was mainly about how special the Tapir is. I'm not sure why the actor who was representing the school kid on a zoo tour also had to act as if he was somewhat retarded. School kids are innocent and say stupid things, yes, but they don't act so... dumb.
- Goodbye - There was a sadder tinge to this story about a widow trying to let her dead husband go. But between the overacting of the widow and the strange vacillation of the man (was he supposed to be part shrink, part remembrance of the dead man?) it muddied the whole story hopelessly. (Apparently the script was originally a musical from 2013.)
- A Pinch of Fate, A Shot of Destiny - this was one of the best shorts of the whole night. A solid, funny story matched with really good acting. The only minus point of this one was that the actors felt too young for their supposed ages.
- The Surgeon's Creed - This was hilarious. Again, a pretty strong story, coupled with great acting.
- Cari - This short felt like a really long ramble to nowhere. I suppose the twist at the end was supposed to be interesting, but after listening to the two girls ramble for so long, I was like, get it over with already.
- (don't know how to write the Chinese character) - It's shorts like these which really make me wish I was better at Chinese. Alvie is a great actor and his monologue was astounding. Unfortunately, I could only grasp maybe 10% of what he was talking about. Everything else I inferred from his body language and acting. It was something about sibling rivalry (how his little brother was always favoured/pampered instead of him - he always got punished?), there was a little bit of abuse (I gathered his mother or father, or well a parent figure, pulled his ear and dragged him away and scolded him and beat him a bit) and he went a little ballistic and beat up his little brother... and I think he choked someone to death and later he went out to get a knife...
- Knock knock - For some reason this doesn't show on the S+S blogspot, so maybe it was a late addition. This was totally heartwarming. It revolved around a man and his autistic brother (friend? brother? relationship wasn't defined - I'm assuming brother)
I don't know. I think last year's offering was way better.