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《暴雨将至:傻姑娘与怪老树》The Impending Storm: The Silly Little Girl and the Funny Old Tree

September 23, 2012

Event: 《暴雨将至:傻姑娘与怪老树 》’The Impending Storm: The Silly Little Girl and the Funny Old Tree’ by 实践剧场 The Theatre Practice
Run: 6-16 Sep 2012
Venue: School of the Arts (SOTA) Studio Theatre
Director 导演: 符宏征 Fu Hongzheng
Original Playwright 原著:郭宝崑 Kuo Pao Kun
Cast 演员: 洪小婷 (Gloria Ang), 詹煇朕 (Alvin Chiam), 董姿彦 (Joanna Dong), 何子详 (Zachary Ho), 梁晓端 (Melissa Leung), 刘晓义 (Liu Xiaoyi), 傅正龙 (Rei Poh)

One of the first things that I couldn’t help paying attention to was the lighting design, thanks to Gabriel Chan (陈伟文). I liked the way the space was illuminated giving you a varied perspective and feel of spaces, like when the size of the stage seemed to be expanded at the beginning (the stage didn’t look as huge when we entered the venue), and the various points of focus and zoning. Precision was also evident.

With a few jumbling of the sequence of events and repetition, the performance was kind of abstract, where I felt I only caught the gist of matters rather than a whole picture of the happenings. Maybe this was also caused by the physical theatre segment (which was kind of out of the blue and like an insertion). Was it meant to be a representation of turmoil? But it did provide a forecast of events where hint of one of the son’s suicide was depicted. It was sad really as that was the youngest and favorite son, and the one who still seemed to care for the father (Ah Gong), not as a duty, but love.

I felt the main theme here was of “silence”, where the old (Ah Gong) and the young (the granddaughter) could not talk to anyone. The old man because of his illness and probably alienation from his children and probably his son’s death? and the girl unable to talk to anyone about her grief (her father’s suicide), who eventually went mad. As the old man died, in his place was the “silly” little girl gone mad, and the silence continues, and their voices not heard anymore.

Alvin Chiam was commendable in his performance as Ah Gong, in his illness and helpless immobility, convincingly so. One thing though was that I felt there was a constant buildup of the anticipation, of I guess, an “impending storm” as the show name presents, but the storm never really seem to arrive, maybe as a sign of a continuous cycle of events.

I’ve never read the original text, but though abstract it was, it still managed to delve into issues we face in society.

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