Are Theatrical Productions Just Meant to Entertain?

As I write this blog post, I have watched three productions, namely Frozen, Mamma Mia and Peter Pan, The Never Ending Story. I never thought I would say so but each production has thrown me into a contemplative state of mind as I watched them play out in front of me. Each of them had something for me to think about.

Frozen was a production by Pangdemonium.

One sunny morning 10-year-old Rhona goes missing. Her mother Nancy (Karen Tan), retreats into a state of frozen hope...for the next twenty years. Does “closure”, mean forgiveness? Or revenge? Agnetha (Janice Koh) is a pioneering psychiatrist with a controversial theory on serial killers. Does she really believe what she preaches, even as she fights her own demons? And then there’s Ralph (Adrian Pang), a loner with a fractured history and a deadly obsession...Is he a monster? Or a misunderstood man-child? Drawn together by horrific circumstances, these three individuals embark upon a tangled, twisted journey, uncovering one another’s skeleton.

It was a play which was morally grey in the sense that there was no right or wrong. The audience would come to their own conclusions. To me as a Linguistics major, the nature vs nurture debate was all I could think about. If Ralph wasn't abused as a kid, would he have become the person he was now? I stand on the side of nurture, meaning I blame his environment. Why? I believe that all of us, our nature, are similar in the sense that we are selfish beings, prone to making mistakes and we need law and order to be in place. The environment, on the other hand, is what is different for every kid. The environment in which a kid grows up is super important in my opinion; his parents, the way they teach their kid, that determines the people they grow up to be. The principles, the habits, they live by, all these have to be taught. 

On that note, let's move on to Peter Pan, The Never Ending Story, a Music Hall Production. 

It tells the enchanting story of Peter Pan, a mischievous boy, with the ability to fly and refuses to grow up. One night, he visits Wendy, John, and Michael Darling in their London nursery and takes them on an unforgettable flight where the Lost Boys, Indians, mermaids and pirates await them at Neverland. In adventures beyond their wildest imaginations, the villainous Captain Hook hatches an evil scheme that crescendos to a dramatic swordfight with Peter.

Photo credits: Leslie Artamonow

I saw Peter Pan in a different light. Watching the play unfold before me, it suddenly struck me that this was one fairy tale I would definitely want to tell children about. No, not your Disney princes and princesses, there are enough of these lousy personalities in real life; kids who are spoiled rotten and think they are 'above' everyone else in terms of looks. It is a story of friendship, of sacrifice. Tinkerbell, the fairy in the story, was more human than she seemed. She experienced jealousy when a close friend neglected her and ultimately sacrificed herself for Peter, prioritising friendship above all. While there are many Chinese wuxia novels which speak of loyalty and sacrifice, Peter Pan seems to be one of the few fairy tales that convey these values. That scene whereby she nearly died, was one that really touched me there. Sacrifice. 

Besides that, it once again reminds me of the innocence of children. Lets not be in a hurry for them to grow up. They should have the right to enjoy their childhood, to be unburdened by the troubles and responsibilities of the adult world. Let children be children. You will be surprised by how fast they grow up. 

Talking about the adult world, it brings me to the next musical production, Mamma Mia.

Inspired by the story-telling magic of ABBA's timeless hits, this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship tells the story of a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father on the eve of her wedding, bringing three men from her mother's past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.  

Although this musical doesn't seem to have a serious note to it, the beginning and end of the musical seem to suggest that we should chase our dreams. It tells us that we shouldn't let tradition hold us back. That despite the harsh reality of the world, how we are expected to marry at a certain age and hold a stable job, we shouldn't give up our dreams, not while we have a shot at fulfilling them. 

Hope that you enjoy reading my thoughts inspired by these various productions. If you haven't watched them, what's stopping you?

Movie Review of 《單身男女2》

So what better movie to watch on 11th of November (Single's Day) than 《單身男女2》? Ok, it's past but that doesn't mean you can't catch this movie.

Here's the trailer:

演員: 古天樂,楊千嬅,周渝民,高圓圓,吳彥祖

Just a disclaimer before I begin that this movie review is purely my opinions and they have not been written to favor any clients, whatsoever (that's why I don't have a ton of photos to go with it).

Well, this movie is of a romantic comedy genre and I wasn't expecting a lot out of it. I mean how interesting can the plot be right? Guy breaks up with girl over another girl or its the courtship scene. Apparently it was more than that. There was a whole series of coincidences in the movie which is totally unbelievable but hey, that's what makes it comical. Ex-boyfriend's company is across the road, mistaken identity of boyfriend when it was brother and these are just a few of those coincidences.

What made the movie really entertaining besides the plot? I guess it was the atmosphere created by the romantic Chinese songs that were blasting away and songs which were so easily identifiable too.

At the end of the day, who would win the hand of their beloved? Does effort pay off in a relationship? These are some questions we would have and ultimately, how much do we treasure our relationships?


At least not in our society where it is always about money, the rat race, the benefits of marrying up. Getting into a relationship is one thing, maintaining that relationship is another.

Listen and you will hear how everything's wrong

Before I start off with today's blog entry, I would like to thank a few special people who have taken the time to compliment me on my blog. You guys know who you are, thank you so much! It's you people who encourage me to keep on blogging.

The issue I would like to talk about has been on my mind for a while now but I only got to blogging about it now. What issue? How parents bring up their kids.

Look around you, listen and you will be able to pick up what is wrong with society. Just the other day, I was on the MRT and it's the best place to observe people. People watching. It's pretty interesting really, if only I had the ability of deduction just like Sherlock.

So first, what I saw. I saw a kid sitting cross legged on a reserved seat, with his shoes off and he was playing with his phone. His mum, sitting next to him, looked extremely weary and was entertaining herself with an iPad. Yes, I judged immediately. C'mon lah, if you as a mum let your kid do that, next time when he grows up, he is going to think it is fine. It's the small things that you accept that eventually becomes overlooked. Have you seen people on the train or the bus with drinks or even ice cream cones in their hands? I have. They aren't dapaoing them, that's for sure. Ok, I get it, this may be a small thing, maybe the mum is really tired and this is an exception.

Now guess what I heard? Out of a bunch of girls, really loud ones, one girl was speaking to her mum over the phone and asking her out for dinner. Why? She had no money after spending it all on two meals (pretty expensive ones from what I inferred). Isn't that just sad? If you listened to her tone of voice as she 'asked' her mum out, you would be like, what has her mum taught her? It's not about the money but rather the fact that parents are asked out for meals when their kids run out of money. If got money then the girl will eat with friends instead?

I attribute all these to the way parents bring up their kids. Habits and upbringing are things that have to be taught. A few weeks back, my friends were discussing about how they bring up their kids and they came to a consensus that when they were young, hitting them was the fastest way to teach them and when they became of age, only then would reasoning become more effective. I for one agree.

Kids grow up with or without their parents. How is it though that sometimes there is no difference? Are parents chucking their kids aside with iPhones and iPads to entertain themselves? Bringing up a child is never easy. If you aren't prepared, if you would choose the easy way, your child will suffer and because of that, you may eventually too.

If my blog entry made you think just a little and you are interested to know about Steve Job's take on this read:

And if you are really keen on watching how parents raise kids you should totally check out the Korean variety show The Return of Superman. You will just fall in love with the kids and in the process of it subconsciously learn how to best raise your future kids.