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Jonathan, David & Me

October 21, 2015

JonathanDavidMe1Event: “Jonathan, David & Me” by Our Company
Venue: Drama Centre Black Box
Run: 14th – 18th Oct ’15

The Bro Code

Our Company tackles the oft-overlooked theme of male friendships in this intimate little play involving three male friends – David (Jamie Shawn Tan), Mervyn (KS Yeo) and Jonathan (Vignesh Singh).

It covers their journey through life from their carefree JC days taking part in the annual talentime contest, to the various stages of their relationships more than a decade on.

David is the boisterous, affable chap who eventually cheats on his girlfriend of more than ten years with a young intern, while Jonathan is the quiet, sensitive one who remains single most of his young adult life, all while harbouring unrequited feelings for David’s girlfriend all this time.

Mervyn is the most level-headed of the three, often playing peacemaker to the other two, but who is not exempt from his own share of relationship woes.

The plot is a fairly predictable one with hardly any surprises, although playwright-director Luke Kwek does a good job embedding two tales of epic male friendships into the fabric of the storyline – one of the biblical story of David and Jonathan, and the other of the ancient Mesopotamian account of Gilgamesh and Enkidu.

The banter in the play, ridden with expletives and coarse allusions to sex, came across as realistic and believable, and is expected of the kind of dialogue heard when a bunch of pals come together for a good time.

There is also the illustration of brotherly tough love, in how Jonathan and Mervyn chastise David for his cheating ways and plead with him to end his affair.

While the eagerness of the three actors was clearly palpable, it was KS Yeo who is probably the most proficient of the three, while Jamie Shawn Tan seemed unable to emote rage convincingly enough, and Vignesh seemed a bit too lightweight in his role.

Nonetheless, the beauty in the play is that it does take you on a full dramatic arc through the friendship of all three buddies, testing the limits of their relationships and stretching things to breaking point, before finally coming to a somewhat bittersweet resolution.

Male friendships are often a funny thing, and “Jonathan, David & Me” does an admirable job in bringing out the complexities and intricacies beneath what often seems like a fairly uncomplicated veneer amongst men.

It makes you take stock of your own personal friendships, and appreciate the fact that when you’re at your lowest, your best friends are gonna be the ones that save you.

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