One sunny morning 10-year-old Rhona goes missing. Her mother Nancy (Karen Tan), retreats into a state of frozen hope…for the next twenty years. Does “closure”, mean forgiveness? Or revenge? Agnetha (Janice Koh) is a pioneering psychiatrist with a controversial theory on serial killers. Does she really believe what she preaches, even as she fights her own demons? And then there’s Ralph (Adrian Pang), a loner with a fractured history and a deadly obsession…Is he a monster? Or a misunderstood man-child? Drawn together by horrific circumstances, these three individuals embark upon a tangled, twisted journey, uncovering one another’s skeleton.
The props and the layout were simple and they didn’t have to be elaborate. The plot, the emotions it invoked, the thoughts that ran through your head as you watched the scenes play out were more than sufficient to keep you engaged.
The play dealt with issues such as forgiveness and how Nancy deals with the want for revenge as her lost one was stolen from her. It shows us the grieving process as she experiences anger and hatred for Ralph that slowly gives in to a certain peacefulness and calm.
It was morally ambiguous. Audience were left to come to their own conclusions as terms such as ‘evil’, ‘sin’ and ‘symptom’ were brought up. Was Ralph evil? A sinner? Or were his actions merely symptoms of his childhood?
The characters were all very realistic and imaginable.
The character Ralph was very loud in terms of both his voice and action. He was able to successfully give off the creepy vibe at the start and later he would erupt into violence very unexpectedly.
The role of Nancy was that of a mother and she was required to express a range of emotions as the play developed. It was a very relatable role and one that had the capacity to influence the emotions of the audience.
The role of Agnetha was of a psychiatrist. It reminded me of psychology lessons. Her character was one that bordered between being professional and one that was suffering emotional hurt.
As a Linguistics student, I was most interested and impressed by the accent the characters put on. Notice that they didn’t use Singapore English or Singlish. The settings, UK, could be considered foreign to us and the way the characters articulated their part and their choice of words made them less familiar to us. Why? Perhaps it was to put some distance between the characters and the audience.
I focused more on the emotions displayed by the actors. Being veteran actors they were able to successfully convey the feelings of their characters and I felt that this was the core of the play. It would build up the atmosphere and give life to the script, getting the audience to think and feel for themselves.
One of the most memorable scenes would be the one where Nancy held onto the skull of her daughter and stroked it gently, reminiscing of her daughter. For once a skull, a symbol of death, could be related to the concept of beauty.
Note: Tickets are completely sold out
by Bryony Lavery
Produced by Pangdemonium
Date: 23 Oct – 9 Nov 2014
Time: Tues to Fri: 8pm | Sat: 3pm, 8pm | Sun: 3pm (8pm Sunday show only on 9 Nov)
Venue: Esplanade Theatre Studio
Admission: $35 (preview only, 23 & 24 Oct); $40 (standard)
Writer: Samuel Low