1 Comment

  • Sonny Lim says:

    Hi Houfu. Sonny Lim here, co-director of the show with Richard Chua. I’ve only just read your review today (5 Sep)! I just want to say that I found your review the most ‘fully-rounded’ of all those on this production so far.

    What I mean by ‘fully-rounded’ is that your personal response has been subsumed to a wider ‘weighing up’ of what you felt the production was trying to do and how well it has done it. Too often, reviewers spend too much time on saying what they expected to see, what they WANTED to see, rather than evaluating what the creators wanted to SHOW. In other words, they are mentally re-directing the show as they are watching it in an attempt to bring the show in line with their understanding of the show. They therefore end up writing about what the show should have been, or what the actors should have done and so on.

    Every review is, of course, a personal response, but I feel that there is a difference between answering the casual question posed by a friend, “So what did you think of it?” and writing a review of it. One asks for a personal response, the other is asking for something more.

    It is actually more instructive for a reviewer to look at any puzzling element of a show and ask, “Why was this directed like that/Why was this role acted like this etc” rather than to assume that there had been an error of judgement. This is the most difficult part of reviewing I find. It is only after I have tossed around all possible answers and still found the element puzzling that I would, as a reviewer myself, assume that it was an error of judgement. Bridget’s performance of Mrs Rokujo is a case in point: what you saw was exactly what she intended -- ‘overpowering’ and ‘not so vulnerable’, although you say you wished she had shown greater vulnerability. On the relative matter of power vs vulnerability in Mrs Rokujo’s character, it was Bridget’s call here. And the two directors’ call. What was fascinating for Richard Chua, Bridget and myself was not Mrs Rokujo’s vulnerability; it was her power.

    Thanks, Houfu, for writing this very thoughtful review.


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