Programme Zone At Bedok Public Library
26th February 2012 (Sunday), 3pm
Saying Grace. Giving thanks to our Creator for the foods before partaking.
We all know that food is precious and we should not be consuming it for granted.
But what if no matter how much you have taken your food, you still feeling hungry?
What will you do? Will you going to eat again? Or will you go “starving”?
What if you are always feeling starving and can never feel full? Are you going to eat again, and again, and again …? Until you can “really” feel the “fullest”??
What if you are still feeling hungry??
Do you live to eat? Or eat to live???
This is what Andrew Harvey Lee is facing; he is never full, he is always hungry.
He is entangled by his eating disorder problem and is trapped physically, emotionally, mentally…by this dissatisfaction.
He is looking for a breakthrough but HOW?
Who is able to help him?
Or only he can help himself?
Who will imagine a “seemed-like” successful young man – educated, married, held a good job position, can be so unhappy? What is his real problem lie? Is it his eating disorder the Only problem he has?
This issue might seem very far from every one of us, but Wait a Minute, are we all so sure??
Staged in the heartland of Singapore, this play is carried out with a simple set of props of a two seated sofa sit in the centre and a standing lamp beside it, settling well at an irregular shape of green mat which reminds me of a field full of fresh grass – an indication of returning to the origin (back to the nature self).
But the irony of it is that the character in this picture is not a carefree person as compares to the green pasture which to me representing freedom – as I can imagine running freely around the field, shouting and laughing with joys!
Andrew is enslaved by his problem! Enslaved in this tidy living room before us. Enslaved in his life, enslaved in the society, enslaved by the model code values, enslaved to live up to people’s expectations on him. Enslaved, enslaved, enslaved by the little devil in him, enslaved to be broken through….
While we watched silently at his struggles, as helpless as he is to see his occasional surge of hope, sudden urge of breaking free, his despair of failure, his decision of destruction … etc.
Listening to his inner voices, his forgotten dreams, his longings that someone can really understand him and not start seeing him as a weird person, because he is just like anyone of us, desire to be loved and be to be understood, longing to break through from his inner chain; he is just being honest about it only and has the courage to bare his soul in front of us.
I am very impressed by Andrew Lua who acts in this role; I think he has done a marvelous job in bringing the complexity of the character’s inner thoughts in this 40 minutes monologue, one-man play to us in a ‘physical’ form. Not an easy task, definitely!
I could see the dedication from the director, Gerald Chew, who has done a remarkable job in presenting this play before us. I can sense how much he must have felt for the subject while watching it, the messages from the written script he wants to bring across to us in a magnificence form.
I could also identify with a lot of the dialogues in this play, as they so familiar to me as I heard them before from myself and the people around me, I could draw many references from those lines.
Therefore, I am touched by the script written by Hu Fangda who is 17 year old now, and ‘Saying Grace’ is his first play being staged and also the winning piece in The TheatreWorks, 24-Hour Playwriting Competition (Youth Category).
During the post-show discussion, I asks Fangda whether what is presented on stage any difference from the script he had written in mind, he says the main ideas are there but to see it with his own eyes on stage, is far more than he can imagine. As this play will be performing till end of this month, there might be changes of improvement along the way, thus what we see this afternoon will not be the final one.
Gerald adds that while he is directing this play, he has a lot of conversation with Fangda, to make sure that he will present this play as close as what is in Fangda’s mind. Actually this play should be a two characters play instead, there should have a wife of Andrew, named Grace, and how she has battled with Andrew’s problem. But upon discussion with Fangda, he agreed to make some changes to write it into a monologue play of only ONE character, to be more focused on his inner self.
Though I like this monologue play personally, on the other hand, I’m also quite curious how the play will be like if Grace will be added in; I thought it will be pretty interesting too! Don’t you think so? 😉
Maybe, there will be part 2 – “Saving Grace” instead. How to save Grace in helping her husband, Andrew, in rescuing him from his torment?
Well, I find that the issues raise in this play are very relevant to the many challenges we face today in this fast pacing society, when we often go after the quantity of material stuffs but lacking in its quality in our inner self growth.
Hope that this play can ring a bell in each of our heart that we should often take time and effort to nurture our souls and also to nourish our mind with good foods.
This play is still showing till 30 March (Details) . Don’t Miss It! =)
A Note For theTheatreWorks
Knowing that The Writer’ Lab has been discovering many talented playwrights over the years and having a lot of excellent winning plays in the 24-Hour Playwriting Competition.
Really hope to see more of them being staged in the near future.
It will be a great blessing to us audiences. =)
More inputs of well nourished food for thoughts, to feed our souls!