“Crosstalk Travellers”

– A Journey Full of Laughter & Reflections

By Performance Workshop (Taiwan)

 Esplanade Theatre

27 January 2012 (Friday) 8pm


“Does the world get smaller or bigger after travel? Does travel lead to the yearning to explore more of the unknown? Or does it lead to a life of contented contemplation in your armchair?”

 The two main characters in this play, Lu Ren (吕仁), a 6 star luxury traveller in pursuit of enjoyable experiences and Cheng Ke  (程克), a couchsurfing backpacking in search of meaning and significance. Both characters are the representatives of the same person, Stan Lai, who is also the playwright and director of this play, sharing about his personal experiences and thoughts from his many years of travelling.

In this play, Lu Ren and Cheng Ke happened to be the only two tourists “trap” in an unknown resort located in an unknown island due to a “revolution” occurs in an unknown country; without much choices and in order to pass time, they can only talk to each other sharing their experiences and thoughts from their past travelling – from their observation about the different types of tourists (including themselves) to their views about the politics and society issues, etc…basically many topics under the sun; just like the many happenings around the world – the endless things to talk about.

Though this play introduces as “Xiangshen” (相声), it is not the tradition way of “Xiangshen” which you will expect two persons (usually) dressed in formal suit, standing almost at the same spot the whole night, having that kind of dialogues which fills with profound Chinese phrases. Over here, the two characters are interacting with the type of dialogues which is more like how we talk, just a small part of it, they demonstrate the traditional “Xiangshen” crosstalk in Act 1, Scene 3 (The Beach). Picture below.


In the common “Xiangshen”, there are seldom any props or graphic image, the audience has to use their imagination. But in this performance, the setting is more like a theatre play with stage designs and a storyline goes by scenes.

I like its creativity and also feel more personal to it. I enjoy their witty and funny dialogues, and have been laughing almost non-stop from the beginning to the end for the 2 hours plus show (with intermission). All the three performers’ acting is excellent!

Despite of bringing me laughter, this play also provides me with a lot of information which has helped me in gaining knowledge and provoking me to ponder a lots of the society issues, as well as studying the human behaviours. Very interesting!

I’m also impressed by their props and the stage display. Especially, the last scene, the boat which the two characters are boarding, wavering from left to right, like a real boat on the water, with the enhancement of the lighting and the graphic image at the background, really looks like they are on a boat floating in the middle of the ocean.

As happy time always passes very fast, without realising, the show seems to have ended in a split second, leaving me wanting to have more of it.

I always like to keep happy memories with me longer.

If possible, I do not want to forget this night of journey travelling around the world which is filled with laughter and reflections.

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