Watching “The Pitch” made me miss theatre – like, a lot

The Pitch, a short film co-produced by Pangdemonium, Singapore Repertory Theatre and WILD RICE, premiered about three weeks ago now. It follows the three companies pitching for a fictional COVID-19 friendly show. The cast all play themselves (Adrian Pang, Gaurav Kripalani, and Ivan Heng), and poke fun at their own male egos. But boy, watching The Pitch make me miss Singapore theatre so, so much.

For the past couple of years, I have a rolling Google doc entitled “Theatre schedule”, where I will list all the plays I wanted to catch every month, ticket price, whether I’ve booked it and whether I’ve written a review for this blog. It was last updated March 9.

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“The Son” review: on losing control

Warning: This review contains light spoilers.

When it comes to mental illnesses, the youth are most at risk. In fact, nearly half of mental illnesses appear before age 14, with the rate of appearance increasing to 75% before age 24.¹ The Son tackles this topic head on.

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“This Is What Happens To Pretty Girls” review: these grey areas

If you can’t hear what I’m trying to say
If you can’t read from the same page

Pangdemonium’s This Is What Happens To Pretty Girls opens with a glimpse of a dance floor. With strobe lights and loud music, dance floors are typically ripe with grimy behaviour, bodies drenched with sweat and alcohol. It is a brief scene, but it is a space that most are familiar with, and a space that This Is What Happens… tries to replicate and expand into domestic and work scenes.

This Is What Happens… attempts to show that these spaces are at times a breeding ground for sexual harassment and abuse, especially as Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” is featured at least twice in the first half. The play turns the song on its head: blurred lines no longer alludes to a “she drives me crazy saying no when I know she wants it” stance, but more on the many confusing implications of what consent really means. Yes means yes, but what if you didn’t mean it? What if you change your mind? Consent is not simple because sex, dating and relationships are not simple. With a compelling narrative and a strong ensemble cast, This Is What Happens… successfully encapsulates these grey areas, painting a clear picture of a murky territory.

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“Dragonflies”: A migrant dreams for home

We are no different from dragonflies. With their tiny transparent wings flapping at 30 beats per second, these creatures travel thousands of kilometers to reproduce, to find a new home, to fight for their survival. This is what Pangdemonium’s Dragonflies alludes to: like dragonflies, our existence is dependent on long-distance migration. From the nomadic homo erectus to our forefathers arriving on distant shores, human beings share this animalistic drive to seek out greener pastures.

Dragonflies begins four years in the future, in a post-Brexit United Kingdom where xenophobia is rampant. It reads like a Nigel Farage wet dream – all non-British citizens no longer have the right to own property and are forced to return to their home countries. Despite having made England his home for thirty years, Singaporean citizen Leslie Chen (Adrian Pang), finds himself back in Singapore. He is greeted by a country that is equally hostile and brimming with racial tension.

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