By: Sarima Jasmin
“Some cupids kill with arrow and some with traps.”
Indeed, Shakespeare’s Cupids were striking arrows in all the right places snagging our hearts at Fort Canning through May. Packed with poetic nights of tranquility and romance under the stars, the Singapore Repertory Theatre’s (SRT) Shakespeare in the Park this year, returns with its local take Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, Much Ado about Nothing.
Set in the 1930s, the production takes place in an intimate but majestic setting. The clever use of space and props seamlessly blend with the rest of the environment. There was a convincing spiral staircase, a swimming pool, costumes and a driven car! The twist comes in the form of an infusion with the Peranakan culture to provide a more local setting.
The story begins as weary soldiers return home from war, only to find themselves tumbling into another battle –involving the matters of the heart. During a celebration at the wealthy Leonato’s house, Claudio, a handsome young soldier played by Jason Chan, sees Julie Wee’s character; a beautiful, young woman named Hero and becomes captivated by her. They fall in love at first sight and soon hasten into marriage while still having to learn a lot about each other.
In attempt to play Cupid, Claudio, Hero and their friends, match-make unsuspecting victims, Benedick and Beatrice (played by Adrian Pang and Wendy Kweh respectively) whose affections for each other disguised as outright contempt in the form of constant bickering, becomes too tempting a scene for their friends to refrain from toying with. The plot thickens and much drama ensues as the villains enter the picture.
As the story unfolds, there is brilliant drama as the relationships between the two couples shift. The cast gave off wonderful energy and portrayed their characters convincingly and effortlessly, allowing audience to identify easily with their characters. Adrian Pang, in particular, was spot on with comedic timing and flair, drawing cheers and laughs from the audience.
British director, Edward Dick interpreted the play in a definitive yet playful, spontaneous manner while allowing room for characters to develop. A real crowd pleaser, Much Ado about Nothing, definitely delivered as a contagious exciting piece, leaving its audience chattering away, pleased and entertained.
Much ado about Nothing ends 31 May 09!
Duration: Approx 2 hrs 30 mins with interval
Venue: Fort Canning Park
Tickets are available from SISTIC:
(Excluding Booking Fee)
Thu & Sun shows: S$43
Fri & Sat shows: s$48
Images courtesy of the Singapore Repertory Theatre.