I went to watch THREE with Totoro on Thursday. When the show was announced almost 2 months back on KLPAC's site on Facebook I was totally intrigued, the catchphrases which did it for me were "inspired by Mitch Albom's Five People You Meet In Heaven", "the afterlife", "physical theater" plus the tested and proven cast. So I quickly booked Totoro and bought tickets for us. The verdict; I was blown away and it was worth the weekday traffic from Subang to Sentul. Phewww.
OK, before I go into how I feel about this, here's the low down:
What is the meaning of our existence? Do our ordinary lives make a difference? Will we look back with regret and feel that we contributed nothing significant in our lifetime? Or will we rejoice with all the accomplishments that we have made throughout? This is a story, beginning at the end, where all these questions are put forward. The people we've met, the things that we've done and how much of it is accounted for at the end of the day.
Told entirely with body language, this story shows us that there is still one last chance to correct the wrongs in our lives and to forgive and forget. In the end, what we say doesn't really matter. It's how we mean it. And how we show it. Language is of no more importance, but instead, it's the sincerity of our hearts that come into play.
A physical theater piece set to original live music.
Synopsis credit to KLPAC
Director: Helena Foo
Composer: Nick Davis
Executive Producer: Dato' Faridah Merican
Featuring: Lorna Hoong, Nicole-Ann Thomas, Wai, Payal Vashist & Soni
Address: Sentul Park, Jalan Strachan, Off Jalan Ipoh
Price: RM 25, RM15 (disabled, senior citizens, students)
Dates: Last shows today and tomorrow!
The show was in Pentas 2, ground floor and as we walked in we were greeted by haze and smoke (see signage below) which I guess is supposed to give us the "we're in heaven" feeling. The show started with an "in flight" kind of announcement; "fasten your seatbelt etc etc" followed by a seemingly plane crash which leads to the protagonist sprawled on the centre stage floor; broken and 'dead'. I like the part where her whole life literally flashed before her; this was achieved by having a projector mounted from the ceiling which flashed nostalgic moments (photos and videos) of her life unto the stage floor.
Anyway, the whole show is without WORDS, except for the in flight announcement in the beginning and the closing song in the end which was performed by a live band and sung by the director herself; Helena Foo.
This is a physical theater which means the facial expressions, stylized body movements, dramatic gestures and dance are employed to convey the message. Of course, Nick Davis and his (live) band did a superb job with music, nothing draws out the emotions as music can. The lighting effect also added to the drama. We see alot of unique body movements combined with the creative use of yoga, ballet and classical Indian, and maybe even a hint of martial art from Wong Wai Hoong (the eye candy for the ladies), nice cartwheels. I guess it helps that he was half naked and a fitness instructor, girls, go, run and buy the tickets NOW!
I liked the part where Wong Wai Hoong, the guardian angel, was using dance to revive and 'fix' the broken Lorna Hoong. See photo below (courtesy of the Star Online)
When it became to the mother-and-daughter scene (pic below, taken from Star Online), I can hear suppressed sobs and sniffles. I was holding my breath and holding back that trickle as well! The scene was so moving and beautifully played by Nicole Ann and Lorna that even without words, the audience felt the anguish, love and longing between mother and daughter. This was amazing as even some movies / shows with words are not able to draw tears from the audience, but this scene managed to do so without so much as a spoken word.
Another noteworthy part is when the protagonist and her ex-beau used classical Indian inspired moves to demonstrate their relationship, how they teased and flirted but eventually they both danced out-of-sync that it frustrated them; I take it this speaks of the different wavelength and desires of a couple as they advance along in their relationship. The mismatched rhythm and moves eventually led to their separation.
With THREE, expect to be taken on an emotional roller coaster ride; feel surprise, sadness, lust, desire, temptation, anger, joy and relief.
I want to give special credit and recognition to the musicians; apparently the tracks were brand new compositions for this play. I can remember right after the first score, I was whispering to Totoro "I wonder if they are selling the 'soundtrack' leh?" I would gladly buy a copy of the musical tracks.
The cast and crew were superb and talented, the execution was seamless. Of course, I would expect nothing less of a play overseen by Joe Hasham and Faridah Merican.
A full review was done by the Star as well.