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The Weight of Silk on Skin

August 8, 2011
by

It was explicit. Graphic even. BUT it was an excellent script.

The discourse was intense and intimate from the outset. Just you and the man, John. A jaded man faced with the torment of his past 25 years, yet with hope of redemption as he runs himself through the story of himself and Anna. A love he never forgot, a love he will meet and seek once again.
An amateur in theatre studies, I was informed by my friend that the format was a traditional form (for a monologue?) where it was set in the premise of preparing for an event. It worked, and in a simulated confined space, we sensed the build-up of emotions to reach a point of final resolution, as he stepped out to face the moment.

Filled with metaphorical allusions, the script was overflowing with descriptive imagery and textual fluency enough to swallow you but yet, for you to devour and savour at the same time. I especially liked the portion about shoes with its allegoric references. I would really like to read the text just to study this aspect. And as intense as it was, it wasn’t all serious as there were more than a few subtle humour picks even though I admit some were lost on me as I wasn’t familiar with the references.

And ah, the man. Ivan was totally praiseworthy in his delivery of the monologue. Monologues are not easy, and it was a challenging script, but he executed it perfectly, bringing out its depth and engaging the audience in a man’s journey of conflict and emotions. It was interesting that there were portions when he stepped into the vacant space towards the back that caused his words to be echoed in the emptiness of that space, especially in parts that seem to emphasize John’s loneliness and desperation. I don’t know if this was intentional or not, but the set up was otherwise minimalistic, with just a chair and a rack of clothes towards the side. And why weight of silk? The remembrance of the sweetness of love, like a caress that clings to you, sheer, but always there.

I remember a quote of which Anna quoted from Rumi: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
I guess love is something you can’t fight nor hold back, even if you have built your own walls to defend against it. But rather, it is something which you should embrace. Do we seek love then fear it?

Even though being more on the conservative side made me feel a little uncomfortable with some of the explicitness, one must recognise that it was a good play especially for its richness. As a friend said, it’s been a while since a good locally-written monologue has been heard and staged. I left the theatre still feeling the intensity of it on me, and maybe (if I may use it), like the weight of silk clinging to me.

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