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Ilkosa’s “Buttons in the Bread” 2011 Year in Review

January 3, 2012

It’s been a busy year and what a lot of theatrical works to consider for this recap! Tough choices to make. Jeremy had already given his list, so here’s my simple own.

The Ones I Liked Much:

《我爱阿爱》 I Love A-Ai: This was an unexpectedly enjoyable family drama that brought us through what it meant to be family in a simple, humorous yet warm way. I feel we don’t get much of this kind of drama these days that focus on love more than angst in families. Refreshing.

《掌中》Turn By Turn We Turn: I loved the way the puppet story was interwoven with the life of the troupe master and how it explored “immortality” or rather, “mortality” of the performing arts. This was almost like a mini epic.

The Weight of Silk on Skin: I have to give it to the excellent script and oh-so-intense performance of Ivan Heng. One of the richest and best scripts this year.

W!ld Rice’s “Aladdin”: I had fun at this. Sometimes you just need that instead of too much of the other stuff. Relax!

The One I Couldn’t Bear:

A Juggler’s Tale: It is very very rare for me to leave in the middle of a show…think this could be the only one for this year (so glad there was an intermission). I couldn’t bring myself to publicly review it here. Sad, because it had the potential to be so much more. The sets were pretty impressive though.

Those that I should mention too

‘H is for Heart Attack’ if H is for Hantu: Nothing freaked me out as much than when that ghostly puppet came out riding on Angie’s shoulder. It literally sent a chill through my heart and I nearly grabbed someone.

Fear of Writing: I would say that this was one of the most talked about plays (too much maybe, which gave the game away). I was lucky to have caught it in the first couple of days without reading any leaks. Another heart-attack-inducing play that made me reconsider another kind of fear.

Nobody but you Karen Tan: I saw so much of Karen Tan this year (all in good ways) that I am filled with admiration for her as she played each role convincingly. I don’t know how she does it, juggling everything; from comic to serious roles, from staged readings to full productions, she played them all. Truly a versatile actress. *applause*

On This Emerald Hill: An interesting mash-up no less defined by Jonathan Lim’s deft depiction of the various characters. Honestly, I’ve never seen him perform this way and was duly impressed.

The ‘Necessary’ Plays: It is necessary to mention Model Citizens and Gemuk Girls even though they were re-stagings  (but I only got to watch them this year). I enjoy how Haresh Sharma’s plays always get me thinking. I also liked how Gemuk Girls was able to present differing scenarios despite the limited time and space.


On the whole, I felt this year’s shows were on the ‘heavier’ side . . . maybe because it’s elections year (lots of political and controversial stuff), or maybe it’s just my selection of shows. Oh, quite a few monologues too.

So, what can we expect in 2012?

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