I attended two local performances this last fortnight. A couple of weeks ago, I watched Forbidden Chestnuts: Portrait of a Brokeback Geisha @ the Drama Centre and last night Everything But the Brain at the Esplanade Theatre.

Forbidden Chestnuts featured Hossan Leong, Jonathan Li, Rodney Oliveiro and Judy Ngo and the format was a vignette made up bite sized comedy skits/segments/dance/song. I’ll just pen my brief opinion here since I don’t believe I need to waste anymore time on this. It was an embarassment. Many of you know I am a proud Singaporean. For the first time in my life, I was not proud to be one. The performance was one-dimensional, re-hashing the same genre of self-deprecating gay humour with a lot of smut and crass. No imagination at all. I was struggling for two hours to find the humour and I have to report that I was unsuccessful.

The money on the ticket above should have been spent on….

Everything But the Brain, however, made me a proud Singaporean all over again.  A play written by local playwright, Jean Tay and starring Pam Oei and Gerald Chew, it was smart, insightful and captivating. I was pleased that it was written as a local play as the themes explored are very real and hence brought out more vividly in the context of our local culture. Incidentally Everything But the Brain was the winner of the 2006 Life! Theatre Award for Best Original Script and fully deserved it in my opinion.

The acting too was very commendable as was the stage directing. All in, it was one of the best local theatre pieces I have ever seen. I’d highly recommend you go and attend this performance. Buy now!