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Blackbird

September 17, 2010
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I can’t decide if this 75-min long play was good or bad. It’s about a woman’s (Una played by Emma Yong) confrontation with the man (Ray/Peter played by Daniel Jenkins) who ‘abused’ her when she was 12. I was actually expecting a psychological thriller from the synopsis (and they made reference to Pillow Man, which unfortunately I missed…twice), but it  wasn’t. So its appeal might have diminished for me in that sense (I was so looking forward to a psychological thriller).

Dialogue heavy, the whole play is set in a messy pantry of a factory that Jay/Peter worked (or some place). The messiness probably set the mood too. The 2 characters recount their lives that led to the incident when they “eloped”, slept together and separated, and the aftermath of that. However, it was pretty heavy and taxing on both the actors and audience (needed to focus on what they were saying since the whole play is really the dialogue between the 2).

Personally, I felt the interesting part was the way the play unfolded. As the story progressed, the audience’s paradigm/perception is made to change as the characters told their stories. Initially, it all seemed like the man’s fault/responsibility, then it shifts focus onto the woman and it becomes blur. Not really sure how to describe it, but I found myself thinking differently of the characters as it went along. It started out as what seemed to be a normal love story of a man leaving a woman, then it turns out that it’s about pedophilia, but then again is it?

There are actually 2 ways to look at the play. “Innocent” and sinister. “Innocent” in that it was really a mis-communication back then and the man is really a changed man. Not that I agree with an older man taking advantage of a minor coz it’s still wrong. But not like what I’m going to say next…Sinister in that he has not changed and all he was telling Una were lies, using what she readily supplied to cook up the stories, and he is a real pedophile, with the next target his girlfriend’s daughter. Personally, I wish to take the “innocent” standpoint (prefer to be hopeful).

Another interesting point my friend raised was how the 2 characters lives unfolded due to the incident at that turning point at the guest house when they separated and never met till now (for 15 years?). What if?

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