Friday, April 6, 2007


... well, that's the first run finished. Some tech snafus and some tightening are necessary, but incredibly, the people I spoke to liked it! Including - believe it or not - one man who'd been Grace Quek's friend in JC, and even went to his exorcism. His writeup will appear in ST on Monday.

Of course, one issue is that changes were requested from the MDA. The Esplanade does, of course, have the power in principle to bypass these requested changes, since they say they're working with us - not against us. And in the end, most changes were made on artistic grounds rather than by means of censorship.

On Tuesday, however, we were told that the MDA panel strongly requested K K Seet's opening prologue to be changed. The line they objected to was:

"In the beginning was the body."

This is problematic on the grounds that it's a Biblical allusion and may thus offend Christian sensibilities, and of course, given what a religiously unstable country Singapore is, we can't have that, can we?

As neither our sound designer nor our voice actor had time to re-record the music on Wednesday, we found it impossible to change the recording on opening night, Thursday. Our decision was to muffle the line instead. By tonight (or the weekend?) the line will be changed, with no great impact on the overal integrity of the work.

An Esplanade employee I spoke to insists that censorship did not occur, because, after all, they're co-creators of the work. But they do urge us to re-record as soon as humanly possible. What can I, a relative newcomer to the Singapore theatre scene, do but accept their word?

Incidentally, if you can't get tickets to 251, I'd strongly recommend going to the other productions in the Esplanade Theatre Studio Season, which was uniformly strong in 2006. I'd especially recommend Cake Theatrical Productions's Nothing.

Also playing this weekend are 72-13's A Wonderful Weekend, the Finger Players' 0501, and the Fun Stage's Unsense. Go buy tickets. :)

Ooh, and happy Easter, everyone. Chag sameach!

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