By Teo Dawn
(736 words, 7 minute read)
(Transcript for SunSh!neGurrl*94’s YouTube video – A Reaction Video to Forked by Jo Tan)
Hello everybody, ni hao and welcome back to my channel. I have been reading your comments and you asked for more of my reaction videos. Love that you guys think so highly of my millennial opinions on the internet. LOL! So today, I will be doing a reaction video for you guys to Forked by Jo Tan – a theatre piece I watched just last night at the NAFA Studio Theatre.
(Poster of Forked comes up on screen)
Forked, directed by Chen Yingxuan, revolves around Singaporean girl Jeanette Peh (Ethel Yap). She abandons a place at law school to go to London to pursue her acting dreams. Speaking with a British accent and politely correcting other people’s grammar, her perception of herself and others starts to shift when she begins to attend famous acting coach Baptiste Laroche’s classes.
Well, as Singaporeans, seems like we are always going through some kind of identity crisis hor. Just look at our National Day Parades. HAHAHA. Jkjk! Anyway, Peh runs a YouTube channel (just like me!), called Stage Whispers where she videos her life, ‘live’ on camera. Besides featuring herself, she also hosts guest appearances from peeps in her life. From her struggling mother (Chang Ting Wei) to complete PR disaster Scott (Jamil Schulze) whom she dated for only couple of weeks, she puts EVERYONE on the show.
Crazy right? She is totally asking for drama so her views will go up. So irritz can.
And can you believe the videos go online immediately with no edits? She makes us Influencers look so bad. I mean, this is a proper job for some of us and we work really hard, okay. At least she has this jingle she plays at the start of every video, though it gets annoying after watching six of her videos back-to-back.
(Poster disappears and SunSh!neGurrl*94 appears back on screen)
Okay, that is the premise of what this show is about. So, here are some of my thoughts about the show.
(SunSh!neGurrl*94 dons a Chinese New Year hat)
1. Accent work by actors on fleek
Using a black box space with movable sets, the acting becomes very important because there is nothing to distract me and my short millennial attention span. I L O V E the accent work? OMG. Each of the actors switches between two to three different accents with ease, especially Schulze and Chang. From acting as Peh’s parents to being her classmates, they have to execute their accents with the proficiency of gymnasts in the gym. Talk about flexing some muscles!
(SunSh!neGurrl*94 randomly picks up some dumbbells to start working out on camera)
2. Too many blackout transitions
Other kinds of muscles prove to be useful too, since this particular show requires plenty of scene changes. All of the transitions use the traditional blackout, and by the fifth transition, it becomes tiring tbh. Is it like some Earth Day product placement or what?
Like, it makes the full-length production feel choppy and lacking in momentum.
(A laugh/cry emoji takes over the video screen)
3. ROFL humour
These transitions do nothing for the script, which seems to play off a lot of fast-paced slapstick and punch lines. HAHAHA. Punch lines, get it? Because they are more painful than funny lah. I mean, making people laugh at air tonguing between two female ninjas and Chink jokes?
A lot of the jokes are racist and so out-dated, but the iGen kids kept laughing. Maybe my Chineseness is making my mind as narrow as my eyes, and I am too sensitive. I didn’t laugh much at the jokes.
But okay lah, I appreciate how Tan is trying to poke fun at racism and culture by playing on cultural stereotypes. Girl, seriously though. Making me sit through China Wine? Like, drown me now, pls.
(SunSh!neGurrl*94 reappears on screen putting on a facial mask with cucumber slices on her eyes)
Soooooo, like, that’s all I have to say about Forked. Share your thoughts with me in the comments below! Idk, do you think playing on cultural stereotypes will help in firefighting racism today? Do you think racist jokes should still be funny in 2018? Let me know and fire away! And most importantly, remember to like, share and subscribe to my channel. See you in the next video. Muah!
(Screen pops up like, share and subscribe buttons)
This review is based on the performance on 26 January 2018 at 8pm. Forked by Jo Tan ran from 25 to 27 January at the NAFA Studio Theatre as part of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival.
Driven by curiosity, Teo Dawn is a graduate of the Intercultural Theatre Institute who seeks to express all the voices in her head, in more ways than one. She can be found at http://teodawn.blog.
This review was written as part of the Lyn Gardner Theatre Criticism Training Program, an Initiative by the National Arts Council, managed by ArtsEquator.com.