Saturday, 31 May 2014

Shear Madness at PJ Live Arts

Caught the Friday night performance of Shear Madness, which is currently playing at PJ Live Arts until the 14th of June. If I knew they were giving out tickets to the night's performance, I would've held off buying a ticket :P
Shear Madness is one of the most popular entertainments in the world, delighting audiences night after night with its unique blend of madcap improvisation and spine-tickling mystery. 
This unique comedy-whodunit takes place today in the "Shear Madness" hairstyling salon and is chock full of up-to-the-minute spontaneous humour.  During the course of the action, a murder is committed and the audience gets to spot the clues, question the suspects, and solve the funniest mystery in the annals of crime.The outcome is never the same, which is why many audience members return again and again to the scene of the mayhem.
I got there early enough to see what I wanted to see and also to collect my ticket. I thought it was apt (because of the police bit and all) that Legal Aid had a table outside with pamphlets and stuff, mostly to do with awareness of your legal rights should you be arrested, etc. Bumped into a former secondary school classmate woman-ning the Legal Aid table and chewed some fat while waiting. And had more free cider as there was a sampling booth outside the theatre, haha. 

I was glad that it didn't start at Malaysian 8.30 p.m. and actually started a little after actual 8.30 p.m. It wasn't exactly a full house that night as there were plenty of empty seats about, but as they say: the show must go on. As people were getting themselves situated, the cast had already started the day-to-day motions of a hairdressing salon and with the show. Because one of the licensing terms state that the show must be set where it's played at, so the location, names of characters and such details are localised. 

Cast includes Qahar Aqilah (Tommy Gan Yew Dai?), Marina Tan (Chanel Ng), Na'a Murad (Eddie), Junji Delfino (Datin Violet Schubert), Phoon Chi Ho (Insp. Soon) and Jason Leong (Sgt. Yeoh). Having the comedians play the relatively straight man characters of the police officers in charge of solving the murder of eccentric pianist/landlady was just ridonkulously hilarious. 

Yep, the audience gets to play along and "help" with the investigation, particularly during the reconstruction of events, where the performers interacted with the audience and asked us what we saw, etc. I was too tired to care, let alone interact with the performers. During the 15 minute intermission, the "inspector" talked to the witnesses outside while the "sargeant" jaga-ed the stragglers and the "suspects" inside.

Turns out that the audience wields more power than you would think because they got to vote on who they thought the killer was, and let the outcome play itself out. I'll tell you who did it when I went if you tell me yours if you went. 

Long story short: Damn funny, must go see. The script alone (which had plenty of local references to laugh about) was laugh die me hilarious, despite my fatigue going in.