By Myle Yan Tay
Francis (played by Paul McCracken) asks the audience if they know that the play is based on a commedia dell’arte work from the 18th century. Greeted by silence, he smiles, thankful that there aren’t any “dicks in the audience”. This irreverent and fast-paced spirit keeps the production vibrant and alive.
But when the production loses this energy and drags, it falters.
For commedia dell’arte to work, there needs to be a very sharp sense of timing. In this production, the dynamic shifts between complete doubt, full bravado, asides to the audience, and emotional outbursts vary in quality. Alexander Clark, playing the bigoted and proud Stanley Stubbers, provides us with charm and bluntness. Neal Thapar is engaging as the quintessential thespian, ready to cry at the drop of a hat.
But there is room for more fine-tuning. Certain gags were clearly honed while others lack that same punch.
Read the full review here.
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About the author(s)
Kathy Rowland is the Managing Editor of ArtsEquator.com, a registered charity that she co-founded with Jenny Daneels in 2016. The site is dedicated to supporting and promoting arts criticism with a regional perspective in Southeast Asia. Kathy has worked in the arts for over 25 years, working in the areas of critical writing and arts advocacy, with a special interest in media platforms for the arts. She is the Project Lead for ArtsEquator’s Southeast Asian Arts and Culture Censorship Documentation Project, launched in 2021. She has written extensively on censorship of arts and culture in Malaysia. She was a member of the International Programme Advisory Committee of the 8th World Summit on Arts and Culture, 2019.