Monday, April 03, 2006
Thank you

To all of you who came to see us, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The show finally closed today but here's our family portrait for you to remember us by. Love, Teddy.


At 3/4/06 14:59, Blogger commonjack said...

Congratulations people!

Hope you guys enjoyed your run ...

Michael C.

At 3/4/06 15:24, Anonymous kimberlycun said...

i enjoyed the show so much! almost didn't make it on time for yesterday's 3pm, phew. wrote some n00b review on it. congratulations and well done!

At 3/4/06 15:31, Blogger cheng sim said...

i wish im was an octopus though. wanna give you guys eight thumbs up! sigh. the blog is going to be dead for good.

At 3/4/06 17:51, Anonymous ShaolinTiger said...

Yah I was at the final show yesterday too, great stuff.

Interesting localisation of a Pinter classic.

Sadly didn't get to meet you guys after the show ;)

Will probably write about it tommorow or something.

Keep up the good work and I hope to see Jia-Wei come out from behind the set and act more often.

At 3/4/06 18:19, Blogger Ms Teh said...

Congratulations guys!

Made my way from sg to watch ya guys on Sat nite and it was well worth the trip indeed!

The post-effects was the very many questions, wanted explanations, curiousity of the past, weirdness and eccentricities in the characters etc. All in shorter words, left me pondering on the scenes, the words, the expressions. The show certainly left me wanting for more...

Also, I must say, very neat stage design.

And kudos to Gavin!

At 5/4/06 21:29, Blogger patrickteoh said...

I would like to ask shaolin tiger what he means by "interesting localisation of a Pinter play"? Far as I know we didn't localise anything. The setting was anywhereland. The accents, well there was a variety of them so could that make it Malaysian in the play's setting? Come shaolin tiger please enlighten us.

Thank you teh for coming up all the way from Singapore to watch us. Terima kasih banyak.

At 6/4/06 14:46, Anonymous ShaolinTiger said...

Well it might not be a localisation especially, more to say a different direction or production. But as you ask..

I found it a lot more colourful, literally, the lighting was superb, but the Homecoming, as I'm accustomed to is a lot more bleak, monotone greys supported by cigarette ash and crumpled newspapers.

It was orignally cast in a down trodden low class terraced house in the old Blighty, think dingey, dark, decrepid, the fringe of working class. The set seemed too clean, middle-class and functional.

Direction tends to be less obstrusive for this particular play due to the acid-tipped dialogues of the participants. It felt a little simplified & cleaned up to me.

Joey should be more thuggish, less gormless, Lenny should be more sleazy and criminal, he seemed rather upper-class to me. Max should be more aggressive.

I guess these factors compounded made it feel 'local' to me, plus the accents of course. Perhaps what I mean is different, not local. After all it is theatre, it's all down to intepretation, there is no 'right' way.

At 6/4/06 16:40, Blogger patrickteoh said...

Thank you, shaolin tiger for clearing that up. "Different" but not "localised". I have grown to hate that word "local". In the Malaysian context that word is almost always used to mean mediocre. "...quite good. For a local production...", "Local production ah? Not bad...". About time somebody called a spade a spade and say "international production ah that one? Lousy what."

Okay shaolin tiger, I shall sms Lenny now and tell him that the "hit" is cancelled. Thank you:-)

At 6/4/06 16:44, Blogger Ben Tan said...

I agree with your comments, Shaolin Tiger. Having lived in London, I know what a working class English home looks like. And how an English pimp or boxer would sound like. Just go to Soho! I can only imagine how more dreary they would have been in the early 60s.

But as you said, this is Theatre and no two productions of Pinter can possibly be alike, given the open-ended intentions of the playwright.

We have not attempted to put on any 'accent' for this production and just spoke the way we normally do. Yes perhaps Lenny could have been less posh and Joey more thuggish but as we didn't try to do an 'English' production of Pinter, we just presented the characters as 'real' people without trying to localise or place the play in any geographical location. I believe the set was deliberately free of 'natural' clutter. Perhaps Jia Wei could elaborate on that.

Now that the production is over and we are all baking tarts at home, it is really interesting to read what the audience thought of the play. And as Michael Billington said about not having any right or wrong way to do Pinter, there is also no right or wrong opinion by the people who saw the play. Including the one person who said on Kakiseni he hated everything about the show.

As actors, we do our best and we just hope you are entertained because it is you, the audience, who matter the most.

Ben Tan (Teddy)

At 6/4/06 18:37, Anonymous ShaolinTiger said...

patrickteoh: Well I certainly didn't mean local in any derogatory way, but it was a local production, local actors/producer/director/lighting/set design etc. Not to say you performed the play in manglish ;) What I was trying to say that it was done purely locally, and an excellent rendition of a very difficult play. I do know what you mean though, in the Malaysian context 'local' still sadly tends to mean below par. I'm sure I'll bump into you some day with TV smith and beer involved anyhow.

Ben Tan: The sound was not really issue to me, I do prefer natural accents, just the characters were different than how I expected. I mean a large part of the meaning behind the play for me is the slum of the home, the working class nature of Max and his boys and the huge contrast between this and what Teddy has supposedly become.

I do understand what you did though, you didn't try to force anything into a mould nor rehash any old productions, you tried to remain as natural as possible, which in itself takes courages as it's far easier to tread a pre-walked path.

And well as an audience member, I also always try my best to be open minded.

That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the show anyway.

At 7/4/06 09:52, Blogger U-En said...

Shaolin Tiger's last comment seems to have closed this discussion, but I am bored and life-less, so here's my two-bob worth on the subject of accents, which I notice a few bloggers have expressed concerns (and possibly dissatisfaction):

The question I asked the Gavin Yap fellow when I first read the script was: "Are we localising? If not, are we Cockneyfying?" The answer was no and no.

(We actually tried Manglishing the script in one of our first readings. Around the end of Act 1, Thor went fully into Cantonese, which I don't understand, but which was nevertheless quite funny. For a few glasses of whisky he will do it again.)

Gavin sought to emphasise the universality of the themes. Sounds like a lot of pretentious tosh, the way I say it; but he was clear on our setting, which as Patrick said, was somewhere in Anywhere. We had to draw attention away from a specific locality without appearing to have done so. This was why we cut substantial parts (especially from Max's lines) that either dated or localised the play in 1960s Alfred Doolittledom.

"MacGregor" became "Mac" throughout, "a tearaway" became "tough", we deleted references to Aberdeen, the West End, etc.

That took care of the words, but the accents were a different matter. We all believe that a good play is still a good regardless of its setting, but the complication for The Homecoming (and the effects of said complication are obvious, as you have seen) was that all six of us speak differently in real life. Our natural accents, then, became the weak link in the play. But because they were natural, they were also a strength.

Thor, for example, when he's trying to prove a point, often uses several different accents in the same breath. He does this in the play at the end of Act 1 to what I find is great comic effect. ("You see lah Joey, this bugger will stop at nothing! He will even spit on the memory of our father.")

Could we have equalised our accents? perhaps adopted a uniform way of speaking that was at once clear and universal? Like a type of phonological Esperanto, specifically for the purposes of this play? I admit it is an interesting idea, but I believe that if the multiplicity of accents has been difficult for the audience, then manufactured uniformity would have been incomprehensible.

At 7/4/06 13:01, Blogger patrickteoh said...

Aisay! So much discussion with so many big words leh...phonological Esperanto; multiplicity of accents; manufactured uniformity would have been incomprehensible;

I just tried not to forget my lines and avoid knocking into the furniture or dropping coffee mugs through bottomless sinks.

Actually, when I thought about it, Thor's "Max" was the only one who used a little bit of Manglish...a couple of lah's. And maybe an "oi!"

But it was a great time had by all...err...most. Thank you.


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