So…tonight was pretty amazing. Thanks to Lush 99.5FM, I got one of the best early birthday presents this year. They gave two free tickets to me to watch this live theatre show that came direct from the West End (London, for those non theatre-goers) with premium seats right in the middle not too near (I would have nightmares) and not too far from the stage. They called me up in the afternoon and said, “Hey, we’re giving away these tickets and the show is tonight, 8pm, at Kallang Theatre.” I was like ‘crap! I wore the lousiest clothing (i.e. t-shirt, beach linen pants, and flip-flops) to ever wear to the theatre.’ Either way I was pretty excited about watching this show because it’ll be the first time I would watch a horror live theatre. I’ve seen many others, mostly to laugh and cry, but never scream. Well…this made me scream three times. Although I have to say one of it was because of the ‘3D surround effect’ from the boys screaming behind me and whenever they do so they kick our chairs. It was hilarious seeing grown men visibly jump and scream with their hands at their hearts.
I have to say, Kallang Theatre (one of the oldest in Singapore) was probably a perfect place to stage this play. It wasn’t as spick and span as the Esplanade, and because of that, made it so much cozier for a minimalist play. By minimalist, I mean, there were only two main actors (and an apparition *gasp*), with minimal props, sounds, lighting and the audiences’ imagination. No music, no multiple actors taking different roles. The start of it was simple…and I loved the little surprises the play had throughout. They truly captivated the audience. Gotta admit though, I purposely chose not to let my imagination run too wild in this show, because I know that if I do, I wouldn’t be able to sleep.
The excellent script makes you imagine the scenarios so well in your head (if you have a good grasp of English). The lighting was eerie and the sound effects were spot on. It transported you to another world. Plus with my recent experiences in London, all the more it came alive for me. The smoke machine…gosh…it’s always the cue that something was going to happen but sometimes it doesn’t and then it catches you off guard. I wonder whether they planted some screamers in the audience though, to create more of an atmosphere. Usually if someone screams, people tend to follow suit…like me…unfortunately. My sister sitting beside me probably only jumped within her skin and she kept trying to randomly scare me.
I couldn’t help but draw a few comparisons from this play to Asian horror. This was so typical Western horror with the way the shock moments were played out. And darkness always seemed to be a theme. The apparition wore black (as it’s namesake), but for Asian horror, the typical ghost would always be in a white robe with a white face. The plot similarity would be the reason behind the haunting. I guess Asian horror would have the same reasons too.
There was one thing I wished for that would have made the play truly outstanding. I wished that the ending scene lasted a little longer. More shock, more horror. In any case, it’s a great show. Acting was superbly well done, plus I’m not sure if they actually wore mics. Didn’t seem like they did, and if not, they really projected their voices very well. You guys should certainly catch it.
Now this makes me itch to watch the movie version with Daniel Radcliffe inside, but obviously I know it wouldn’t compare to a live performance.