Culture / Art Republik

young & W!LD presents ‘The Bald Soprano’ at Singapore National Library’s Drama Centre Black Box

Refreshing and energetic, young & W!LD’s bold reimagining of ‘The Bald Soprano’ is an unexpected gem

Jun 13, 2017 | By Ilyda Chua

young & W!LD, ‘The Bald Soprano’, 2017. Image courtesy W!LD RICE

In an unexpectedly brilliant take on the comedic classic by Romanian-French avant-garde playwright Eugene Ionesco, young & W!LD’s 2017 production charms with a delightfully brazen cast and plenty of wicked charisma.

Running at the National Library’s Drama Centre Black Box Theatre between June 7 and 11, 2017, ’The Bald Soprano’ is, without a doubt, a questionable choice for Singaporean theatre. Originally performed in French, the play is a classic of the absurd genre, making liberal use of repetitions, illogic, and dialogue borrowed from a ‘Learning English 101’ textbook.

young & W!LD, ‘The Bald Soprano’, 2017. Image courtesy W!LD RICE

The play’s synopsis: six characters living in London meet. While it begins with semi-comprehensible — although meaningless — dialogue, the play eventually devolves into a series of non-sequiturs that bear absolutely no resemblance to normal conversation.

It is a testament to the talent of the young cast that such a theoretically unwatchable performance could be made watchable. Absurdist plays tend to be relatively niche in the best of situations; dragged over five decades and two continents from 1950s France into modern-day Singapore, they become downright unlikely.

And yet, amidst the incomprehensible drama, over-the-top performances and an underlying sense of self-conscious cleverness, Singapore-based playwright and director Rodney Oliveiro’s adaptation succeeds at not only being watchable, but in fact thoroughly entertaining.

young & W!LD is a division of W!LD RICE dedicated to training and nurturing Singapore’s most promising young talents. Find at more at W!LD RICE.

young & W!LD, ‘The Bald Soprano’, 2017. Image courtesy W!LD RICE

ilyda chua

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