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February 20, 2011

Event: Closer by Pangdemonium! Productions
Venue: DBS Arts Centre
Run: 17 Feb – 6 Mar 2011

I haven’t watched the movie so I can safely say I have an “unbiased” view of the production, although my emotional and analytical faculties might have been impaired by the flu I was having.

The whole plot revolves around truth, how it can hurt and alienate, rather than bring one closer to another. The 4 characters (Larry, Anna, Dan and Alice) intertwine in a series of love and lust affairs and can I say, sometimes of sexual politics? They make up, break up, then make up and break up again. How truth can be used as a weapon of “destruction” in the case of love. As the notes of the programme puts it, “while lies and deception cause damage, the truth, it seems, can make that damage irreparable…truth does not bring any of the characters closer.” Is love a matter of choice?

I didn’t feel that it was draggy (even though it was longer than I expected), and was giving it concentration throughout, which was a good thing. However, I didn’t find it as engaging as I thought it should have been. To give credit, each actor/actress played their parts perfectly well, but when they crossed paths, there was something lacking that didn’t bring out the intensity between characters as I would have imagined the play to be. A lack of chemistry maybe? The show didn’t really reach a climatic point…it seemed to be getting there at points, but then didn’t. As my friend puts it, it came out a little “flat”.
I wasn’t getting any closer to the core of the plot or the character-to-character relationship struggles…or maybe it was meant to be so?

However, I must say that strangely, the final scene gave me a sense of “relief”. At that point, the truth is as truth is, all things released and laid bare. Each character had moved on with their own lives and Alice’s real identity was revealed. No more tension, politics, struggles, etc. Just plain clarity.

On another note, I felt that the only one who could see through or acknowledge the facades of life was Alice (or Jane). She utters the bare truths of life like when at Anna’s exhibition:

“It’s a lie. It’s a bunch of sad strangers photographed beautifully, and all the glittering assholes who appreciate art say it’s beautiful ’cause that’s what they want to see. But the people in the photos are sad, and alone, but the pictures make the world seem beautiful. So the exhibition’s reassuring, which makes it a lie, and everyone loves a big fat lie.”

I think I should go watch the movie since I’ve heard good reviews about it.

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