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Dear Nobody

September 10, 2012

Event: ‘Dear Nobody’ by Buds Theatre Company
Run: 6-9 September 2012
Venue: Goodman Arts Centre Black Box
Directed by: Claire Devine
Cast: Fervyn Tan, Stanley Seah, Sahirrah Safit, Marc Valentine, Marvelina Setiawan, Aisha Shaik and Kelvin John Lim

Inspired by Berlie Doherty’s young adult novel, Dear Nobody is a play that deals with teenage pregnancy and its implications to the couple involved, those around, and what a child would likely face when born. The story tells of a pair of A-level teens, Alyssa and Dan, who unwisely sleep together on one occasion and had to bear the consequences of their actions when Alyssa gets pregnant. Alyssa keeps a blog addressing the unborn child (“Dear Nobody”) of the feelings and thoughts she has on having the child and her relationship with her family and Dan. Eventually, all ends well, but not before the teenagers start to mature in their approach to life.

With minimalistic cubic blocks as props, the stage was set for a 90-minute discourse of family bonds and growing up. Although awkward at some points (e.g. the rendezvous), the young actors made a good effort in their acting, especially those playing multiple roles. I felt the last part of the show about being pregnant portrayed by Fervyn seemed quite convincing (though I wouldn’t know of the experience in detail). Other than that, I think the immaturity of teens to handle such scenarios was adequately portrayed.

In terms of story flow, each scene was in its logical sequence. However, it felt a little disjointed, maybe because of the way and rate each scene was moving and changing. I can’t put my finger on why it was so, but maybe it was like watching a slideshow, jumping from scene to scene with a click of each shutter. Or maybe like a train as each cabin passes by. As such, I felt the character development part was slightly lacking, but then again, if otherwise, the play would be very long. Also I felt the closing party scene with its dancing and toasts was somewhat inappropriate coming straight after the birth. I understood it probably meant to do a full circle as the opening scene was also a similar party scene, but it just didn’t feel so right when it reappeared at the end. Not that there shouldn’t be a celebration, but maybe the manner it was done.

Anyway, on another thread, was wondering how close to reality is the response to such a situation nowadays? Well, I guess Dear Nobody helps in reminding youths on the consequences of their actions and also to take responsibility for them.

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