Friday, December 09, 2005

Julius, Seize Her

I sat with right eyebrow significantly arched, left eye narrowly squinting, mouth slightly agape. I could imagine my face making its cameo appearance on a chat screen, contorting itself in a jerky animated GIF file, an emoticon worth a laugh or two with online mates.

It was then when I officially deduced that when it comes to Shakespeare, I'm just not down with it.

After watching The Merchant From Venice in 2000 and Robert Bolt's A Man For All Seasons last year, I left the theatre brimming with the intellectual deftness of a potato.

Julius Caesar is the third and decidedly last production which has shaken the foundations of my monolingual stature. Dilettante, who was featured as an actor, invited me to come and watch the play as a belated birthday present. "Don't worry, I could grasp what was going on quite easily, so I don't think you'd have much trouble understanding it either", he assured me. Perhaps, I thought in this case, I should impart trust sparingly to a law student.

I went to catch the show with my platonic husband Ashvin, whom had expressed interest in the show a few days before. As part of the initiation ritual of patronage to the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, we got lost. After an hour and a half of traffic blunders, we managed to arrive on time, and found our (very good) seats inside the chilly and suspectibly hazy space of Pentas 1.

The lights dimmed and upon the utterance of the first line, my autonomic nervous system went on hyperdrive. This is in English? I tried to focus, partially attributing my lack of it to hypothermic temperatures. I hung on to every word which sounded familiar in my pitiful range of vocabulary. I glanced at Ashvin, who seemed to be devouring the scene wholeheartedly. It wasn't long before I began to wonder what I was doing there... why I even bothered trying.

Dilettante then rushed up on stage and I got girly-girl excited. I, for a moment before remembering that it was not a talent show, regretted that I did not bring along a banner and parade his swoon-worthy face on my customised teeshirt.

He stepped off and I collapsed back into the 90-minute maze of incomprehensible drama. If this adaptation was already considered as simple and straightforward as it could get, then I could kiss my appreciation for the art goodbye.

Ashvin and I waited for Dilettante to emerge from backstage after the show. I gave him a thank you cum congratulatory hug, and Ashvin heaped compliments on his performance and the play on overall before the bashful thespian got called back for a briefing.

On the rainy drive back, Ashvin pointed out the climax scene that was beefed up with haunting audio booms and strobe lights. He joked that we went to see a play as an alternative recreational activity from the usual club outings, and we still can't escape.

I very much appreciated Dilettante's present and was inspired by his natural talent. I took pride in catching the names of the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the suspenseful sound and light effects. I also thought the minimalistic set design was magnificent, the acting was impressive and Samantha Schubert's bountiful bosom was an admirable sight. But for me to stay comfortable in my zone of retardation, I would accept a Jim Carrey movie marathon any other day.


Blogger commonjack said...

i'm glad you enjoyed the play. (despite claiming not to understand what was going on...)

you probably do lah - but you just think you don't. it's called *intelectual denial*. it's a proper disease...really! lol.

anyway, i'll do my best to lay to rest all of your questions that you *undoubtedly have. :) see ya.

2:03 AM  
Blogger Nicholas said...

My goodness.. Get new hosting woman. Your site is sprouting bloody pop unders.

4:49 AM  
Blogger Nicholas said...

I correct myself... Ditch CJB woman! It's sprouting bloody pop unders.

5:11 AM  
Blogger Albert said...

When did you go? I went on Friday, and only for the company of chicks! :D Actorlympics this year end should be good old NEW English.

11:25 PM  
Blogger cheesemeister said...

You might enjoy Shakespeare better if you had the experience I did. When I was 10 years old I went to see a production of Romeo and Juliet. They dimmed the lights when Romeo got into bed with Juliet. When the lights came up, Romeo got out of bed--stark naked!
My parents thanked me for being mature and not giggling. Little did they know, I was too busy gawking!

4:25 PM  
Blogger kepala_angin said...

"..intellectual deftness of a potato. " -- i think i should adopt this line as a tag for my life. ;-)

4:26 PM  
Blogger disco-very said...

intellectual denial? wow, you have to be pretty intellectual to deny that you are to begin with... and i have nothing to prove. thanks for the offer, i think you've already cleared up a bulk of my queries :P

sorry for the troubles. I'll be keeping, but I'll be changing the Blogger URL so you can use that instead.

I went on Wednesday. hope you had fun with your girls. and yes, Actorlympics sounds ace this time round.

ooh! i think any ten-year-old would savor such an experience. thanks for sharing!

kepala angin,
hope you have familiarised yourself with the copyright issues involved. heh, i kid. but i honestly think potatoes do rock.

4:44 PM  

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