REVIEW / THEATRE
I CAME AT LAST TO THE SEAS
The Theatre Practice
Esplanade Theatre/Last Saturday
In The Theatre Practice’s manufacturing I Came At Last To The Seas at Esplanade Theatre final Saturday, questions akin to “Where do we come from?” and “What does it mean to be ‘Chinese’?” had been delivered to the fore.
The Chinese theatre manufacturing, a part of this yr’s Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts, was themed round id and the journey of discovering oneself and one’s objective.
It is the newest undertaking from The Theatre Practice, Singapore’s longest-standing skilled bilingual theatre group, recognized for productions such because the musical Lao Jiu, and extra experimental work akin to final yr’s Blank Run manufacturing.
I Came At Last To The Seas focuses on questions moderately than plot. There aren’t any simple solutions or neatly packaged morals right here.
Rather, the manufacturing appears to ask a rumination about reality – those individuals hear from others and those individuals inform themselves.
The manufacturing’s seven foremost characters, from vastly totally different backgrounds, present numerous views to this difficulty.
Among them is a blind traveller performed by Taiwanese performer and drummer Huang Yu-ting; a meals knowledgeable performed by Singaporean jazz vocalist Joanna Dong; and a wanderer with a mid-life disaster performed by Singaporean singer-actor Sugie Phua.
Woven into their interactions had been a number of lovely moments, akin to one mesmerising sequence the place characters climbed and descended from moving platforms, with multimedia silhouettes of themselves projected on a display screen – frozen in time however for a second, then fading away.
The second introduced one’s id as transient, continuously shifting and unattainable to pin down.
One feels for the characters trying to find a way of themselves. And in a later scene, when the characters introduce Chinese dishes on a bizarrely surreal selection present, there was a disappointment watching them current a seemingly congruent picture of cultural id.
Perhaps the exterior face individuals current to the world merely glosses over a lot of the interior splits and tensions inside their particular person subjectivities.
And possibly arriving at discovering out who one actually is will not be the first goal right here.
Instead, it could be the method that issues most – the fixed questioning and self-reflection which may lastly give one that means.