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The Way We Go

November 28, 2014

TheWayWeGoPic1(Photo courtesy of Checkpoint Theatre. Photo credit: Chong Yew.)

Event: “The Way We Go” presented by Checkpoint Theatre
Venue: SOTA Theatre Studio
Run: 20th – 29th Nov 2014

Lovers And Other Strangers

What started out as a full-length reading entitled “Our Lady of Lourdes” written by playwright Joel Tan at The Arts House last December has now culminated in a full staging entitled “The Way We Go”.

Having attended the playread, it was interesting to see how much further the play had developed under the direction of Claire Wong into the finished product it is today.

“The Way We Go” is a meditative piece telling of two parallel stories – one being that of former school principal Agatha Mao (played by Lydia Look) and how she meets and falls in love with the ever-cynical Edmund Gomez (Patrick Teoh), the cousin of her best friend Violet (Neo Swee Lin), and the other being the much younger love affair between schoolmates Gillian (Chng Xin Xuan) and Lee-Ying (Julie Wee).

It charts the course of the two separate yet seemingly similar love affairs, how they face their respective obstacles along the way, and how one party eventually decides to leave the relationship, leaving the other party grasping for answers.

In many ways “The Way We Go” reminded me of a Schubert Impromptu – lyrical, profound, meditative, not as trivial as say a Chopin Prelude, but yet not as long-drawn-out nor as weighty as a full Beethoven Sonata.

Whereas Huzir Sulaiman gave a strangely likeable sardonic edge to Edmund in the playread last year, Patrick Teoh plays it more direct, portraying Edmund as a largely cynical and unpredictable character with scant redeeming qualities.

Lydia Look steals the show with her robust portrayal of the firm but empathetic school principal who allows herself to fall in love with Edmund, but eventually ending up a broken figure suffering from both a cancer and a shattered heart from having Edmund walk out on her.

The sheer tragedy of seeing her portray a heartbroken cancer patient late in the play was truly heart-wrenching.

Joel Tan once again exhibits his wit and mastery of the language with many an elegant line, while also showing great skill in portraying the nuances and complexities inherent in this thing known as “relationships”.

“The Way We Go” is a delicate journey through life and love, revealing the fears, insecurities, and heartache we all face when entering into relationships, and ultimately makes you want to cherish the ones who really love.

Kudos to Checkpoint Theatre in their efforts to constantly nurture and promote the works on young local playwrights by giving them full proper stagings, and in my opinion, there isn’t a theatre company in Singapore that does a better job of showcasing young playwriting talent than them.

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