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“Poop” by The Finger Players

September 2, 2010
by

Event: Poop
Venue: Esplanade Theatre Studio
Run: 2nd Sept – 5th Sept 2010

Still can’t get over the name “Poop”.

Anyhow…

In a similar fashion, the play was as unique, quirky, and provocative as the title seemed to suggest.

This was my first Finger Players production ever, and I came away being highly impressed by the 60-minute spectacle.

This is a restaging of the play, after its initial run in April-May last year, which garnered for itself up to 5 nominations in the Life! Theatre Awards this year.

To simply call “Poop” a “play” might be doing a slight disservice to the production, for director Chong Tze Chien cleverly merged elements such as black art, intense soundscapes, clever lighting, and even shadow puppetry into its fabric.

“Poop” was quite simply a tour de force.

From the moment the play started, with the illusion of Daddy floating in mid-air amidst the darkness of the theatre studio, simulating a free fall towards death (suicide), you knew that you were in for quite a ride.

The play made heavy use of black art (i.e. creating visual illusions via manipulation of light and darkness, with people dressed in black manipulating the necessary props in front of a black backdrop), especially in portraying the spirit of the dead father reappearing to his family, most often with just the appearance of his floating head amidst the darkness.

The effects were most certainly magical, which tied in very nicely with the themes of hallucinations, spirits, and the afterlife.

Essentially, in my personal interpretation, the play was about the way a man’s family (namely his mother, his wife and his daughter) copes with his suicide.

To me the most poignant moment was when Neo Swee Lin (playing the Granny) and Janice Koh (playing the Mummy/daughter-in-law) were entertaining the possibility that there would be absolutely no connection left between them should both the Daddy (Mummy’s husband) and Emily (Mummy’s daughter) leave this earth.

As such, the wife contemplated moving back to Malaysia should Emily die from cancer.

I wouldn’t say that I was able to follow every bit of the play, especially during the more abstract moments.

(I’m really bad at grasping the abstract. I think I’m too literal in many ways. Gotta blame my over-consumption on musicals for that!)

Talked to a few people after the play and they seemed to think it was brilliant and had many interpretations on what was happening.

Apparently the rest of the audience in attendance this evening loved it too, judging by the rousing applause given at the end of the 60 minutes, plus the handful of standing ovations to boot.

The only comment I would possibly make about the play was that while it had its fair share of humourous lines, I thought the humour was misplaced due to the sombre tone that was set by the play right from the beginning.

As such, few in the audience were inclined to laugh, even though the lines may have had a bigger impact in a lighter setting.

I’m a firm believer that the impact that lines have on an audience is a function of the tone of the play, and the attempts at humour in “Poop” just seemed a bit out of place in a play that dealt heavily with the grim struggles and realities of a death in the family.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend you go catch “Poop” (if you can still get tickets), because it is truly a work of art and a sight to behold.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2010 11:08 pm

    Hey Ikosa + Jeremy! Great of you both to come up with this blog 🙂
    I might just read your reviews first before I read those in the news, heehee.

    I caught Fried Rice Paradise today. Enjoyed it tremendously. Dick Lee is as always, awesome! And the cast was great! I enjoyed the music lots tt I went to purchase the CD.

    One thing I agree with Ikosa is the sound. Disappointing. My bf also commented that he could not decipher what was sung on stage.

    Nevertheless, it was enjoyable + entertaining 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. Review: “Poop” By The Finger Players « Random Musings
  2. Jeremy’s “Buttons in the Bread” Theatre Accolades 2010! « Buttons In The Bread
  3. 11th Life! Theatre Awards 2011 « Buttons In The Bread
  4. COMING SOON: “Turn By Turn We Turn” – A Conversation With Director Chong Tze Chien « Buttons In The Bread

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