Saturday, October 08, 2011

Singapura- the musical

The whole way to Kallang Theatre I wondered if it was just another name for the Indoor Stadium. Yes, not the brightest spark in the universe. But strangely enough, driving into the carpark, I had a sudden resurgence of memories from long ago. Walking in this exact same carpark after watching something, what was it? Right. The Sound of Music. When I was still in primary school with randomly mismatched clothes. So yes, I have been to Kallang Theatre before and no, it isn't the same as Indoor Stadium.

The first batch of patrons at the newly refurbished Kallang Theatre at its reopening preview of Singapura- The musical.

Looking good! Fountains and a spectacular backdrop.
Settling into the seats at the Circle area. There weren't special access paths for the elderly/ disabled. It was stairs from the carpark up and stairs from the entrance up. Thank goodness there wasn't a lot of it but even a little was too much for my grandparents.

Happy people :)
 So where was the refurbishments? We saw cracked ceilings, albeit obviously repainted. Repainted into the cracks. Hmm. And stained seats. I think there should be a more careful use of the word. Perhaps they should just say that it's a reopening. Refurbishment is too far from the truth.

Chinese New Year
Singapore at the peak of its progression as a nation.

The grand finale.
What the Merlion was there for except to be an anti climax ending, I am otherwise clueless.

I felt the male performers to have better stage presence than the females. I really enjoyed the trishaw scene and the policemen acts by the men. Very entertaining, very representative of Singapore in its earlier years. Perhaps also, they had acts of just three to five of them at once whereas the females came in groups of eight to ten with just two solo artiste acts/ duo performances.

What the musical was to me, was the exact same feeling I had at the Singapore Pavilion in the Shanghai Expo. Both meant to be representative of Singapore but they were not able to deliver the essence of Singapore. 

For ticket prices ranging from $48 to $118, I am hardpressed to see how anyone would fork out that kind of prices for such a production. Singapore wasn't the main point of the performance. Yes, admittedly it was a preview so there are bound to be hiccups. The side projection screens were not working. There were to be 5 chapters in the story but there was only an introduction for Chapter 1. There were random acts of Chinese trapeze, silk ribbon acts that peppered the musical with no apparent relation to Singapore. Costumes were gaudy. It did less to attract one's attention to the performer's expertise and more to make them look away from the mismatched and painfully neon colours. They started out well, the story of Sang Nila Utama, the scenes of Singapore from days of old with trishaws, the old Robinson Road. Then came the different ethnic groups and it went downhill from there with the random trapeze acts.

You know, I would pay to watch the National Day Parade instead.
A lot more needs to be done for what has been planned to be a long running performance to actually be a success.


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