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Short + Sweet 2010 (3)

July 24, 2010

Another round of plays, another round of evaluation.

The 3rd programme for Short + Sweet was overall, comparatively slightly better than the 1st set, maybe by the virtue that most of the plays did not feel as draggy. However, most didn’t seem “special”. Maybe I’ve watched too many dramas. What was puzzling was why they would be classified as R18, except maybe the last one (I think my friend seemed to be noticeably uncomfortable with that). Maybe the language and themes were stronger on script than played out, or maybe some topics were sensitive, like Americans, culture, incest? Anyway, for this round, I’d group them into 3 categories: 1) ok, nothing outstanding/special; 2) not bad/good, but something seems to be missing; and 3) Good.

Cat 1
Gurus: This wasn’t very interesting. Although it tried to incorporate some weak twists.
Interview of a Lifetime: This started off well in the 1st few minutes, but went down the drain thereafter.
Stolen: I was a little disappointed with this since my friend had told me his actor said it was good. It was a bit difficult identifying the twist, i.e. not strong. But it does address some social issues.
The Arrangement: Maybe I expected a modern setting, but the olden setting made it too cliche as a background for arranged marriages and story predictable.
Thickness of Blood: Well, this got a bit long-drawn at a certain point and the supposed twist was not as strong as it should have been, although the gist of the storyline might make a good Chinese drama if done rightly (think 雷雨).

Cat 2
Meeting with the Teacher: This was not bad, in the sense that it had a twist at the end that was strong enough. It started off as maybe a relational problem between the parents that turned to a conclusion that was pretty violent.
History of St Paul’s: I kind of liked this as it was slightly funny at some parts and rather nice as a father-son relationship thingy.
Play (with) Misty for Me: This was a rather sweet and simple story of love and support between a couple. The interesting part was the way it was done – the couple spoke separately to the audience, and their conversation kind of affirmed each other though they were not speaking together as they related their stories. But they came together at the end. Interestingly, the male actor reminded me of my fencing instructor.
My Name is Art: This was not bad and somehow I think I related to it, since it talked about interpretation of art. Why would a pile of boxes be considered art? But the interesting thing part was the twist at the end where a man in only underwear (this should be the R18 part) appeared as a “touring exhibit”, forcing the male lead to make a “donation”, which actually turned out to be a scam.

Cat 3
Well, there’s only 1 choice for this which was Some Are Meant to Sit, which was the best of the lot. The virtue of this play would be the wittiness of the script (conversation) as the 2-men cast “argue” over the right to sit and stand. It was done very Jack Sparrow style…wonder if you remember part 3 of Pirates where he was stranded at world’s end and he started talking to other “him”s? But this can only be a short play as the story will go on and on as it reflects the constant struggle over “privilege”. I wouldn’t mind watching it again. However, I wonder if the Jack Sparrow imitation might prove detrimental.

I missed programme 2. What I would really like to see would be the turnip issue in one of the plays. From the synopses though, think programme 2 might have elicited more emotions from me…if done well. Anyway, I think this being a competition made me too analytical when watching the plays. One tries to compare each play and delve too deep. Maybe I should just sit back and relax without thinking too much?

Anyway, this contest has prompted me to think what genre of plays I would like to write. One would be horror (think Woman in Black) and another would be mystery/psychological thriller. But I would think these are quite difficult to write, requiring good twists.

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