Wednesday, April 07, 2010

More than a Barnyard Story

I remember the first time I read George Orwell's Animal Farm. If there's one word I'd choose to describe how I felt, it would be "indignant".

Animal Farm is anything but a story about peaceful barnyard animals. It's about how absolute power corrupts. You won't need to look too far below the surface of those pigs' skins to find ugly human traits. But I shall not get into the story here...

All I can say is 65 years after George Orwell wrote the book, the message of Animal Farm is still relevant today -- perhaps even more so. And what better way to soak in the powerful message than through a stage production that features Singapore's very best.

Lim Yu-Beng (Napoleon), Pam Oei (Squealer) & 881's Yeo Yann Yann (Clover) in W!ld Rice's Animal Farm!

This is W!ld Rice's 3rd season of Animal Farm. It made its debut in 2002, and played to rave reviews. In 2004, the theatre company brought the play to New Zealand, and again, all shows were completely sold out there.

Just last month, Animal Farm travelled to the prestigious 2010 Hong Kong Arts Festival, and months before the Singapore cast & crew even stepped on Hong Kong soil, tickets for the show were already completely sold out.

In fact Yu-Beng & Pam have been in all three runs -- playing different roles of course! They joked that all the other cast members "can't stand them" because they knew everybody else's lines & would correct them! *LOL*

What was poignant for Yu-Beng though was that he's played both a pig and a horse. Napoleon, of course, being the dictator. So he knows how it feels to lord it over the animals, and how it feels to be lorded over. I've always known Yu-Beng to be an individual with a strong sense of social justice, and so I can understand when he said he felt "angry".

Animal Farm opens next Wed, 21 April @ Drama Centre Theatre!

For Pam & Yann Yann, the whole physicality of the production was what they griped about. I tell you, these girls so amused me! *LOL*

"If I could bring in a massage therapist right now, which parts of your body will you ask to be massaged?" Stan asked, with a twinkle in his eye.

"Lower back!" Pam squealed. OK, she didn't squeal. Groaned, more like it.

Apparently, them pigs have to be on all fours. And Yann Yann admits that though the other cast members did warn her about the physical demands of the production, she didn't quite take heed till she found herself limping & aching her way into rehearsals! And Yann Yann looks every bit a fit & toned young lady, so... GOSH.

SO! If you're catching Animal Farm, don't think it was all a piece of cake. A lot of blood, sweat & tears went into it! OK, more like sweat & aching muscles. Personally, I can't wait to catch it! Hope to see you there!!!

21 April - 8 May
Drama Centre Theatre
Tickets via SISTIC

For more info, click here.


Maynas Eric Chua said...

lolz, what a lovely cast!
Going to be a great drama :)

Pam said...

yes, eric. it's been playing to sold-out audiences everywhere they go. we're catching it next week, hope you manage to as well! :D