When we talk about theatres, plays and musicals in Singapore, most Singaporeans immediately think about all-known Broadway performances. From roaring parades of fanfare in Disney’s-themed musicals, such as The Lion King to rebellious shenanigans of kids in Roald Dahl’s Mathilda – just to name a few – Singaporean productions, especially those performed by local production houses, hardly stood the limelight in comparison. However, Heather, directed by Adeeb Fazah, completely changed my perception and proved to me that Singaporeans do dream big, and stage magic does happen.
As a theatre enthusiast and someone who has been on the backstage of productions, watching Heather was even more satisfying. It was a show, which really brought me back to the very roots and charm of good storytelling and great planning.
Two characters, lights, a table and two chairs
Simplicity was all that mattered on-stage for Heather. Lights, a table and two chair- are all the props that I can remember for the entire show. Heather was a no doubt one of the best well-planned stories in its 3-part act, which I would summarise in a singular word for each act: Act 1 – Build-up, Act 2 – Confession and lastly, Act 3 – Redemption.
It tells a tale of a reclusive children’s story writer stepping onto unknowing fame but eventually unfolds a troubling narrative, leaving viewers with the last thought: What matters more – the storyteller or the story itself? And who will decide the story we tell?
Heather helped me tap into my imagination leaving me with an immersive experience. The beautiful use of lights made the overall visual experience even more dynamic. Very few productions really have the know-how of good lighting.
The verging of one’s character and “the idea of escape”
Putting the very notion of fame and one’s character in the limelight, Heather was also one wholesome act, which highlighted the verging and tipping point of human truth. The play explored how our very reality and society’s take for writing a right on a wrong as discussed by the two very talented actors – Karen Tan and Andy Tear. And, as mentioned through a dialogue session between the two actors – a part of the ideology of escape comes into exploring this certain aspect of humanity –
“You can love somebody. But you can hate something that they do.”
And that in itself was a great ending and my key takeaway from Heather.
** “Heather” was showcased on 24, 25, 26 and 27 October 2019 at Gateway Theatre Black Box. Produced by Adeeb & Shai ,this feature is a Singapore premiere of the British play featuring two very talented actors, Karen Tan and Andy Tear.