Showing posts with label theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label theatre. Show all posts

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Singapore Repertory Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park: Julius Caesar - A Fascinating, Modern Take on an Old Tale


The weather was sticky and muggy last Sunday evening, but Red Dot Diva felt happy to be back in Fort Canning Park for an evening of theatre accompanied by a enjoyable picnic on the lawn. She was there to indulge in one of the biggest Shakespeare in the Park productions in the region - Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT)'s adaptation of Julius Caesar. The production also part of SRT's 25th Anniversary celebrations.

In 2017, SRT called off the beloved annual Shakespeare in the Park due to funding issues, as they saw large sponsors depart and production costs rise. However, with backing from loyal corporate sponsors as well as support and crowdfunding from an ardent group of theatre lovers, the outdoor production is back in its usual venue, with a huge impressive set!

Right after entering Fort Canning's Gothic Gates, attendees were invited to climb up the stairs from backstage and to walk around the modern, "concrete-and-glass" looking Roman Piazza set. A semi-circular structure held an audio-visual display, and flags of the seven "nations" of the R.O.M.E. alliance marked the stage where the Shakespearean tragedy will later unfold. Standing up on stage with ushers who were dressed the part as government officials, Red Dot Diva felt as if she has already become part of the story.




Wednesday, April 25, 2018

SRT's Shakespeare in the Park : Julius Caesar - Diva's Interview with Director, Guy Unsworth


Freelance director Guy Unsworth is currently back here working on another Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) production - the upcoming performance of Shakespeare in the Park : Julius Caesar.

Last year, he directed the dark comedy SRTs "Hand of God", which scored positive reviews from critics and audiences. His recent works include an acclaimed UK tour of John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" and his own adaptation of "Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em".

Even though he is busy getting the play ready for the 2 May launch date, Red Dot Diva managed to grab a few minutes of his time for an interview:

Red Dot Diva: How did you get involved with SRT's Shakespeare in the Park: Julius Caesar? 
Guy Unsworth: I was introduced to Gaurav Kripalani and Juliet Chia back in 2016 and since then we’ve been talking about the exciting potential of Julius Caesar. I came to Singapore last year to stage Hand to God, and since then have been working solidly on this production.

RDD: What is it like adapting the play for Singapore audiences?
Guy: It’s a fun challenge. I was very keen to find a contemporary equivalent that would work in the international community of Singapore. There’s a lot of talk about Rome and Romans in the play, but specifically the honour, history and responsibility that that identity carries. The big question for me to answer therefore was ‘What is the equivalent of Rome today?’. More than just a literal place, 'Rome' is an identity, it’s a community, and a title which binds these people together. It then struck me that intergovernmental organisations like NATO, the UN, G7, G20 etc. carry stakes on a much more global scale. They require their members to work as a team, but inevitably alliances form and factions are made. And where better to have lots of different nationalities coming together than Singapore? So it seemed a perfect fit to set this at a R.O.M.E. summit.

I was also excited by the age range of the Singapore audiences and I want the show to reach out to younger audience members. When I was a teenager I found Shakespeare very difficult to get my head into, so whenever I direct it, I'm very keen to bear my younger self in mind. It's going to be pretty fast and furious, and there are lots of theatrical surprises along the way. I want to make something which my teenage self would have enjoyed.

Monday, April 23, 2018

SRT's Shakespeare in the Park : Julius Caesar - Diva's Interview with Actor, Julie Wee

In Shakespeare's historical and political thriller "Julius Caesar", one could argue that the senator Caius Cassius is more of a baddie than the titular character. After all, the politician was the main instigator of the plot to kill Caesar.

Starting 2 May 2018 at Fort Canning Park, Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) will be presenting Shakespeare in the Park -"Julius Caesar", set in modern times. Two key characters in the play has been cast as females. Well-known actress Jo Kukathas takes up the lead role of Caesar, while Julie Wee - a familiar face for local viewers, having been on Mediacorp 5 TV series like "Moulmein High" and "Light Years" - will be playing the manipulative and politically savvy Cassius.

Julie is no stranger to SRT's Shakespeare in the Park productions either. She has acted as Portia in "The Merchant of Venice", Miranda in "The Tempest", Hero in "Much Ado About Nothing" and Bianca in "Othello". "Julius Caesar" will be her 5th Shakespeare in the Park role!

To get some dibs about Julie's role in "Julius Caesar", Red Dot Diva got in touch with her for a mini interview.

Red Dot Diva: Hi, Julie! It’s just a couple of weeks away from the first day of SRT’s Shakespeare in the Park: Julius Caesar. How excited are you to be finally on stage with a live audience? 
Julie Wee: Very excited! The audience is the missing character in rehearsals, so it's always such a relief to finally have them with us to share the story.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

SRT's Shakespeare In the Park Returns in May 2018 with Julius Caesar

In 2017, something was sorely missing in the local theatre scene. Due to the lack of funds, Singapore Repertory Theatre's (SRT) Shakespeare in the Park was cancelled.

The large-scale production held at the historical Fort Canning Park has never failed to provide memorable moments from the Bard's plays, including A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, and the Tempest. Red Dot Diva has attended all of them, except for the first one, Hamlet.

Being part of Shakespeare in the Park is a wonderful and magical experience. When you are sitting out on the lawn and enjoying a picnic under the stars, one is easily enraptured by SRT's brilliant performance of Shakespearean stories that have stood the test of time.

Despite the financial obstacles, SRT was undeterred. Last year, the theatre company started a crowdfunding campaign for the next Shakespeare in the Park. Thanks to several generous supporters, SRT has enough funds to kick off the production, and Shakespeare in the Park will be BACK in May 2018! *punches fist in air!*

Sunday, July 23, 2017

SRT's "Forbidden City: Portrait of An Empress" 2017: Diva's Interview with Dick Lee and Cheryl Tan


Step into the world of Cixi, the last Empress Dowager of China, at the re-staging of the musical "Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress". The Singapore Repertory Theatre production, starring local performer Kit Chan as the grown up Cixi, on 8 August 2017 at the Esplanade.

Set in China over a century ago, the lavishly stunning musical production will also include Broadway and West End star Earl Carpenter ("Les Misérables"), local actor Benjamin Chow ("RENT", "The LKY Musical"), Cheryl Tan ("Romeo & Juliet", "Beauty World") as the young concubine Yehenara, and Broadway actress Stephanie Leigh (Mary Poppins).

Cultural Medallion recipient Dick Lee provides the music for "Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress", and Red Dot Diva managed to get hold of the veteran performer/ songwriter for a snappy Q&A. She also got to interview singer-actress Cheryl Tan.

Friday, June 30, 2017

SRT's "Forbidden City: Portrait of An Empress" 2017: Diva's Interview with Costume Designer Yang DeRong


A musical extravaganza about the life of Empress Dowager Cixi, "Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress" will return to the stage for the 4th time at the Esplanade beginning 8 August 2017.

The SRT production, developed by Stephen Clark, Dick Lee and Steve Dexter, was first staged in 2002 as part of the Esplanade's opening. Since then, the play has another two sold out shows in 2003 and 2006. The star of the show, Kit Chan, will return in the main role of Cixi for the 2017 production.

With an epic spanning over decades, "Forbidden City" is a large set with several period costumes hailing from the last dynasty in China. This is a huge undertaking for any costume designer, and that's where talented local designer Yang DeRong comes in to the picture.

Veteran fashion designer Yang DeRong spent several years abroad working with names like Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and fashion group Esprit. He is now back home and has been involved in many high profile international and government projects, including being SG50 NDP Art Director and Costume Designer.

Yang loves the theatre, and his craft has been seen in productions like Theatreworks "The Elephant Man" (1987), SRT's "The Dresser", NUS Cultural Centre's "Man of Letters" and "Beauty World" (2016) by Singapore Street Festival.

He was also designer for SRT's previous run of "Forbidden City" in 2003, and will return to work on this year's production.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Get Your Blasters (and Credits) Ready for the Advance Sales of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"!

Local fans of the Star Wars franchise, information on the advance ticket sales for "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" has just been announced!

As Citibank is a major corporate sponsor for "Rogue One", their card holders will have the exclusive chance to buy IMAX 3D tickets on 28 November 2016, 10.00AM for the earliest slot on 14 December 2016, 7.00PM only.

After which, the public will be able to purchase tickets for IMAX 3D and all other formats from 29 November 2016, 12.01AM on the following cinema websites:

Cathay Cineplex
Golden Village
Filmgarde
Shaw Theatres [IMAX 3D]
Shaw Theatres
WE Cinemas

For those who want to avoid spoilers and watch the movie as soon as it premieres, it is time to plan and camp out!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

STGCC 2016: Tom Taylor Reveals How He Plans His Regular Day As A Writer


Dramatist. Screenwriter. Songwriter. Comic Book writer. Best-selling author.

WOW.

Wait. There's more.

Professional Juggler. Fire-eater!

The awards and achievements of rising star Tom Taylor is simply astounding. Comic book fans will be familiar with Tom's works in the DC Comics series "Injustice: Gods Amongst Us", as well as a list of Star Wars comics published by Dark Horse, before the property was handed over to Marvel in 2015.

Tom has also co-created his own graphic novel by Aussie publishing house Gestalt, together with illustrator James Brouwer, called "The Deep: Here Be Dragons". The book, about the Netktons, a family of sea explorers, won Australia's Aurealis Award for Best illustrated book/graphic novel in 2012. "The Deep" is now a Netflix CG animation series, and was recently aired in the USA beginning June 2016. 

Other than books, he is also known for his various plays. The short "The Example" is probably the most well-known, and has been performed at homeground Australia, the UK, and even in Red Dot Island's The Esplanade in 2009! "The Example" is about the collision of opinions, prejudices, superstition and feelings of distrust when two people meet at a train station where a bag has been abandoned on the platform. The story has also been adapted into a Gestalt Publishing graphic novel, with Tom roping in the help of artist Colin Wilson.

There certainly must be a multi-coloured cloud of fun, clever and thought-provoking ideas floating in Tom Taylor's brain. So, Red Dot Diva and Glam Bloggers Alliance pal Agent W neural probed Tom's brain to see what makes it tick:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

SRT's Shakespeare In The Park 2015 is "The Tempest"

The Shakespeare in the Park at Fort Canning is becoming a mid-year outdoor tradition for most local drama fans.

The annual production has been successfully presented to theatre goers by leading company Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) for the last number of years. The lavishly produced Shakespearean plays performed have included "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Hamlet", "Much Ado About Nothing", "Macbeth", "The Twelfth Night", "Othello" and "The Merchant of Venice".

This year, "The Tempest" (the 8th Shakespeare in the Park production by SRT) will take centrestage at Fort Canning. "The Tempest" is said to be Shakespeare's last play and one of two plays where the plot is entirely original.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Theatre Review: "Mies Julie" Brings The Heat With A Fiery Performance about Race and Gender

The relentless sense of sweat-inducing heat of the semi-desert region of Karoo in South Africa, was felt right from the start as the play "Mies Julie" kicked off at DBS Art Centre

On stage, which was set as a farmhouse during Freedom Day, the very capable actors of the South African State Theatre played out the intense, erotic and ultimately tragic tale about a young white mistress and her affair with her African black male servant, John.

The classic play about the battle about power and control by Swedish playwright August Strindberg had now been spiritually rebirthed in another time and space. This version makes all the swirling emotions of the story even more relevant and illuminating, as writer-director Yael Farber brings it very close to heart and home by setting it in South Africa, when apartheid ended a mere 20 years ago.

Monday, March 24, 2014

SRT's "Rising Son" Is Made In Singapore - An Interview with Dick Lee

This year, the Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) has announced a run of locally-made plays in their "Made In Singapore" production series - "A Wedding, A Funeral & Lucky, The Fish" (Dora Tan), "Stand Behind The Yellow Line - Garisan Kuning" (Michelle Tan), and "Rising Son" (Dick Lee).

"Rising Son" is written by well-known performer and composer Dick Lee, who also happens to be SRT's Associate Artistic Director. Unlike his other more familiar works in theatre, which were musicals like "Beauty World" and "Snow.Wolf.Lake", "Rising Son" is part 1 of an epic drama about set against the backdrop of the Japanese Occupation in Singapore during World War II.

The story spans the period of 1941 to 1945, and follows the story of a young ambulance orderly Sunny (Tan Shou Chen), and his younger sister Ruby (Seong Hui Xuan), and their lives and relationships during these horrific times.

To find out more about this new local production, Red Dot Diva posed "Rising Son" 's playright, Dick Lee, a few nosy questions:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Shakespeare in the Park 2013: Director Bruce Guthrie Shares about the Staging of "Othello"

The historical Fort Canning Park, with its colonial buildings and landmarks, has always been a magical setting for a good Shakespearean play.

This year, the Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) has continued its yearly tradition of producing Shakespeare in the Park. And this time, the chosen play is the dark, jealousy-fueled tragedy called "Othello".

With a cast consisting of British actor Daniel Francis as main protagonist Othello, and local-based thespians like Daniel Jenkins and Wendy Kweh, the updated version of the play kicked off its run on 24th April. Apparently, it has already been watched by an audience of over 25,000.

Red Dot Diva has already seen the play, and she cannot deny that the staging was indeed very grand and elaborate. But what she enjoyed most from the play was Daniel Jenkins' portrayal of Iago. The actor had given a wonderfully nuanced performance of a villain without a shred of remorse, which made him even more evil than she ever thought possible.

Director Bruce Guthrie returned to the Red Dot Island this year for the epic production of "Othello". He had also helmed the previous year's light-hearted romantic comedy "Twelfth Night" - which boasted of a gorgeous set that consisted of a beach, a mansion, a swimming pool and a visual projection of an ocean view.

Red Dot Diva got hold of Bruce Guthrie to share more about himself, and what went on behind the staging of "Othello".

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Braving Pangdemonium's "Swimming With Sharks"


Forget about loaded minefields at the office.

Facing hungry boss-sharks is probably what everyone should constantly look out for. For one thing, you might face a much slower, more painful demise. At best, you'll probably (d)evolve into another blood-thirsty shark.

And that was the primary premise of the movie screenplay by George Huang called "Swimming With Sharks", which is now currently brought to our local theatre scene by Pangdemonium! Productions.

Red Dot Diva has always enjoyed Pangdemonium!'s choice of plays. They are usually edgy with a dark twist, or absolutely fun productions with witty scripts like "The Full Monty", for instance.

With a title like "Swimming With Sharks" and that promotional pic of lead actor/ owner Adrian Pang looking like the aptly-named James Bond metal-mouth villain Jaws, it was inevitable that Red Dot Diva would be donning her heavy-duty neoprene suit for a dive into their preview night on Thursday.

And what a swim that was!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Off-Broadway: Fiasco Theatre's "Cymbeline" - A Charming Performance

Undoubtedly, Broadway is one of the main things most people aim for when they are in New York City. For her first ever visit to the megacity, the intrepid Red Dot Diva felt a need for another Shakespearean fix instead. Mainly because she is not a big fan of flashy musicals. (Are those horrified gasps she hears from some distant corner over there??)

Her 'play date' had suggested "Avenue Q", but she had already watched a satisfyingly entertaining version helmed by a Filipino cast on Red Dot Island a couple of years back. So, having scoured a comprehensive list online, it was settled that Red Dot Diva's first theatre outing in New York would be the lesser known Shakespearean play "Cymbeline" at the Barrow Street Theatre - an intimate 199-seat off-Broadway venue. The decision was firmly supported by the many rave reviews from critics for this particular adaptation by Fiasco Theatre.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Local Theatre Update - "Richard III", "Equus" and "Dealer's Choice"

Tickets for Shakespeare's "Richard III", starring the fantastic Kevin Spacey, was out for public sales on SISTIC yesterday!

"Richard III" is the final season of The Bridge Project and is being brought to our local shores by the Singapore Repertory Theatre. The play will be staged at the Esplanade Theatre from from17 to 26 November 2011.

The play opened in London at the Old Vic Theatre with rave reviews. Check out the Guardian's article here.

Red Dot Diva urges those who desire to see a powerful performance by Kevin Spacey and the mix of British and American cast members to grab their tickets early. Already tickets for some of the days are almost sold out!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Bloody "Macbeth" In The Park

It was purely coincidental that Red Dot Diva attended a Shakespearean tragedy on Polling Day, 7th May.

She had after all bought the tickets for Singapore Repertory Theatre's (SRT) version of "Macbeth" months earlier. The play proved to be somewhat foreshadowing with regards to the General Election results, albeit via less violent means.

There is always something magical about watching a Shakespeare play in a Park. "Macbeth" is the fourth outdoor stage production organized by SRT and Red Dot Diva had previously attended two of these ("A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Much Ado About Nothing"). Both performances turned out to be very memorable evenings. So she was awfully excited when she saw the tickets on sale for "Macbeth".

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Singapore Date with Kevin Spacey for "Richard III"

Local theatre goers - heads up!

Red Dot Diva previously hinted that Kevin Spacey would be in Singapore later this year for The Bridge Project's final season - Shakespeare's "Richard III". (Check out her blog post here.)

This seems to be shaping up nicely with cast announcements for the play posted on website Broadway World.com just two weeks ago.

The play has also been plugged on Singapore Repertory Theatre's website, with dates listed as November 17-26, 2011.

Other than Hong Kong, Singapore is the only other Asian stop for the production.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spacey To Be In Singapore?

Wa... Wut? WUT!!?

The theatre geek in Red Dot Diva is positively Squee-ing.

Last year, it was announced that Oscar-award winning veteran actor Kevin Spacey will be starring in the titular role in William Shakespeare's "Richard III".

Mr Spacey - who was last seen hob-nobbing with his co-stars and director of indie movie "Margin Call" at the Sundance Festival - is the Artistic Director of The Old Vic. He is involved in the Bridge Project together with friend and well-known director, Sam Mendes. In fact, Sam will be the director for the Shakespearean play.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Emily Of Emerald Hill" - A Feistily Shiok Performance

Mention Peranakan and colourful images of brightly intricate sarong kebayas and fussily-prepared signature dishes come to mind.

Sadly, Red Dot Diva sighs, true-blue Peranakans are hard to find these days as the culture is becoming assimilated into the larger mainstream Chinese diaspora through-out South-East Asia.

Red Dot Diva grew up in a household with a strong Peranakan heritage. Even though her maternal grandmother did not wear the sarong kebayas nor belong to a filthy-rich family, one would not be able to mistake "Mama's" inherently feisty matriachal-bibik-ness. Where on earth does one think Red Dot Diva got that Diva attitude from? ;)

Emily of Emerald Hill”, written by Stella Kon, is an iconic Peranakan play. While highlighting the quirks of the Peranakan culture, it still offers the universal themes about womanhood, love, sacrifices, family and loss that anyone can appreciate.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Boldly And Lustfully "Closer"

After their very successful run of "The Full Monty" last year, local theatre production company Pangdemonium! decided to tread on the dark side with "Closer" as their "next act".

"Closer" is an intelligent, raw, explicitly adult play by award-winning English playwright, Patrick Marber.

Although, Red Dot Diva observed that "Closer" is actually quite a misnomer for the play, given that by the end of the tale, none of the characters were any more intimate with each other.

Most non-theatre geeks would have been more familiar with the 2004 movie adaptation which starred Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts and Clive Owens. But in Red Dot Diva's opinion, the story with its no holds barred and oft-lurid language, was more suitable for the stage.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...