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Action Theatre’s “Makan Drama Festival”

March 23, 2010
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Event: Makan Drama Festival
Venue: Action Theatre @ 42 Waterloo Street
Run: 18th Mar – 28th Mar 2010

Not that I’m that frequent a theatre goer, but unique concepts tend to be few and far between, and I thought that Action Theatre’s idea for the “Makan Drama Festival” was a highly refreshing one.

I thought it was ingenious.

The idea is like this – there is a ticketed double bill of plays from 8pm to about 930pm (these being the main course of the evening), and before the double bill, you get a variety of free events such as poetry reading and stand-up comedy (the appetisers), and immediately after the double bill, you get some more free events such as short plays and excerpts from an upcoming new musical called “Hokkien Mee” (the desserts).

So it’s as if you’re in for an evening of theatrical feasting, complete with starters, main course and dessert.

And every single item is related to the overhanging theme of “food”.

Quite clever huh?

I thought it was fun to attend the various events at the different facilities within the Action Theatre compound.

It was kinda like a little theatre adventure for the evening, and the cosy (read: small) setting of the Action Theatre compound made everything seem so much more intimate.

In some ways it also felt like you’re back in school – moving from one tutorial room to another and having to adjust to different subjects at each new class.

I want to talk a bit about the second of the two plays called “Cravings” by Chong Tze Chien, which I really enjoyed.

It was probably the highlight of the evening for me, apart from watching the short preview of the upcoming musical “Hokkien Mee”.

The play was blessed with great writing and great acting from the four actors, two of whom being Jo Tan and Edward Choy (both also from “Awake With Nenek”).

I’m afraid I don’t know the names of the other two actors, who were excellent as well.

The play started off at a great pace, and the humour just kept pouring in.

I thought the script was wonderful, and I liked how it slowly started unveiling the secrets and neurosis within the characters.

However, I thought the play reached a point whereby it kinda lost all its steam (circa the 65% mark I think), and the pace kinda got a bit draggy after that.

I mean, it started off so well and it was running along brilliantly…but somehow after the high point where the guy decided to lock himself in the toilet, I felt that that was where things started to go downhill.

Moreover, I gather the whole point about the play was about the concept of “cravings”, and the playwright tried to emphasise the point towards the end in the form of the dad’s parting words, but somehow I just didn’t really get it.

Its meaning didn’t really hit me like I felt it should have.

But maybe it’s just me.

All in all, a most enjoyable night of theatre!

NB: “Makan Drama Festival” runs till Sunday 28th March. Tickets are still available (here) so please go out and get them.

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