Thursday, 21 January 2016

Marble Hearts

First play of the year: The preview night of U-En Ng's King Lear inspired play, Marble Hearts, at KLPac's Pentas 2 mostly because I'm too cheap to pay the extra RM10. You can say I got there in time because there was no line when I got there, but I probably need to start leaving a little earlier. I was also running behind U-En the playwright; I had no idea it was him until later. Also noticed that he was seated right at the back.

It also probably served as a media preview of sorts as well because some of the attendees were clearly (to me) members of the media - among them BFM's Lim Soon Heng, who's huge mic (not a pun) you can't miss. At some point my shoulder got tapped on and I was asked if I was a journalist. Part of me wanted to say, "no, just to cheap to pay the extra RM10", but didn't - I just went with "no". 
Christina Orow, Marina Tan & Safia Hanifah perform in Pentas 2 this January in Marble Hearts, a modern tragedy "playing in the wings" of William Shakespeare's King Lear. 
This new play tells the stories of three sisters - Goneril, Regan and Cordelia - who seek to find their own way in life as their aged and abusive father descends into insanity.  
The play intersects with the plot of King Lear at key moments but presents an entirely new perspective on the sisters' hopes and fears as well as relentless pursuit of ambition that drives them each towards seemingly inevitable self-destruction - but are they as calculative as they seem,? Which is the victim, and which of their stories is true?  
As a curtain-raiser for the klpac's 2016 Shakespeare Festival (commemorating the 400th anniversary of the playwright's death), Marble Hearts features Shakespeare's original lines from King Lear and elsewhere as well as new dialogues in prose and modern blank verse. 

I thought the ladies' performances were pretty believable, so thumbs up from me.

Because I don't remember off the top of my head, I had to look up what King Lear the play was about and my eyes kind of glazed over. The fact that I managed to stay awake despite my soporific cold meds and as someone who's not a huge Shakespeare fan was miraculous. The intermission also came at a right time for me :P

If you're a Shakespeare fan with nothing better to do this weekend, you're welcome to check it out. 

Random observations:
  • Unless the seat is marked "RESERVED", I'll sit where ever I can. 
  • I kind of wish that the latecomers would find their seats more quietly instead of stomping around like they were on a fashion runway. Very the distracting :P
  • It's been over a decade since I saw Christina Orow on stage in a more dramatic role than erm, Actorlympics, and that was also about a few years ago now.  
  • The trench coat Christina wore in the first scene (black with the contrasting khaki detail) looks really familiar, but can't remember from where. My guess is either Banana Republic or Gap. I need to know!
  • Even from 20 feet away, I have no idea if Marina was wearing a well fitted bald cap or if her head was really shaved. 
  • I don't know if it's the me, but I'm not quite sure what happened in the end - was it all a hallucination, or did it actually happen?