Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Midsummer Night's Dream

The Wessex Tehatre's performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream at DBS Arts Centre in Singapore last week was a lot of fun. Bottom and the mechanicals were hilarious, and really stole the show. That was probably the best part of this staging of the show, getting continual laughs out of the audience.

Other than the mechanicals, I didn't think the performance overall was very creative. It was a rehashing of various versions of the play's performance that I've seen here and there. But still, A Midsummer Night's Dream usually goes over quite well with audiences, and this staging was no exception.

I've been enjoying the recent shows at the DBS Arts Centre, and am looking forward to what is up next — Caryl Churchill's Top Girls.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009


I promised in an earlier post to give some feedback after seeing TNT do Romeo and Juliet in Singapore. I have to say that the show in Shanghai was actually a little better than the same performance in Singapore. I actually had better seats at the Singapore show, though that was wasted because we ended up sitting behind a group of students who were somewhat noisy throughout the show. But what I thought was the bigger difference was the absence of a very moving scene between Cupid and Juliet. In Shanghai, the interaction between Cupid and Juliet as she delivered her soliloquy was very beautiful. Cupid was not included in the same scene in Singapore, and it really diminished the overall show. (I am sure, though, that if I had not already seen it in Shanghai, I would not have felt anything missing at all.)

Anyway, TNT's standard is always good, and I am always happy to see whatever show they put on, in any locale! It was fun getting to watch the two performances of the same show and get a feel for how differently it was played out in the different locations.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

You Tiao in Hong Kong

You tiao is always a favorite, so it was lots of fun to watch it being made at this great little dim sum shop in Hong Kong!

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Proof at DBS Arts Centre

I've seen the movie Proof with Gweneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins, and thought it not bad. I was pleasantly surprised to find I enjoyed the staged version at DBS Arts Centre in Singapore much more when I saw it last week. The acting was very good, and the story was very well played out.

Overall, Proof is a very enjoyable play, though the end is something of a letdown. Still, David Ashburn's script coaxed a lot of laughs out of the Singapore audience. It was a lot of fun to be there and enjoy the performance.

There are a lot of great shows coming up at DBS Arts Centre over the next few weeks too. I've got plans to see A Midsummer Night's Dream and Top Girls before the end of this month. Top Girls is one of those plays I've never gotten to see onstage, and have always wanted to see how it plays out. I am really looking forward to that.

There are some really great lines in Proof, and the delivery at this performance was mostly spot-on. It bodes well for the next few shows I'm planning to see there as well. May is really a good month for theatre in Singapore!

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

The Raffles Hotel in Singapore is a site with a rich history, and it still houses lots of excellent activities and facilities today. It is easy for those of us living in Singapore to forget how great a building the Raffles Hotel. I know that for me, I have only recently been reminded when I was showing off the hotel for a friend on a temporary stay in Singapore. Here are some of the great things at the Raffles Hotel:

1. Jubilee Hall is a Victorian-style theatre that commemorates the old Jubilee Theatre that stood on the site before the hotel was renovated into its present state. The facilities are excellent (I know from having helped put on an event there), and the atmosphere in the theatre really brings a past era back to life. I recently saw TNT Britain's staging of Romeo and Juliet there, and was reminded of just how great a place Jubilee Hall is.

2. The Long Bar is the site where the Singapore Sling was created way back in 1915. The Long Bar still looks like an old club from colonial days. It is fun to stop in and have a look at this place where so many famous people have sat and done their meeting, socializing, and perhaps even writing. And of course, the site where the last tiger in Singapore was captured is something everyone should see!

3. The illustrious guest list.... it really is amazing! Writers such as Noel Coward, Joseph Conrad, and Somerset Maugham have long been associated with the Raffles Hotel.

4. And of course, there are lots of nice places to eat and shop in the Raffles Hotel. The ice cream from the Raffles Creamery (under management of Seah Street Deli) is really good, and the prices are surprisingly reasonable for ice cream of that quality.

It is easy to forget how great the things you see day in and day out are. I don't know how many times I've walked past, or even right through, Raffles Hotel without giving a second thought to it. It is kind of fun to get to show it to a friend and see it with her fresh eyes. It helps me to appreciate it all over again.

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