Wednesday, April 03, 2013

8 Femmes :: 8 Women

The 2002 film version directed by Francois Ozon starring Catherine Deneuve was sheer delight. So it was with a fair bit of expectations that I went to watch Sing'Theatre's '8 Women' on stage. The play is directed by Samantha Scott-Blackhall. (Read TODAYonline's review here, and Poached's here.)

Let's put aside any commentary on gender or the 'nature' of women. It's just not productive. A classic whoddunit. Family feuds, intrigues, and of course nobody in the family is what they seem. Interesting enough murder-mystery plot. This version of the play starred many veterans of the Singapore theatre scene, as well as some of the younger crowd who aren't unfamiliar to theatre-goers. Always enjoyable to see Tan Kheng Hua, Neo Swee Lin and Daisy Irani on stage.

The set tried to re-create the feel of 1950s France, country florals, mood lighting and all. I like the treatment of the overall concept. However, the script could have been shortened and ran tighter. With a run-time of about 1hr 45min, excluding a 15-min intermission, it felt draggy. Knowing the twist didn't help because I only got a tad bored, and if not for some excellent acting in the second half, I would have nodded off to sleep. Towards the end, the theatrics and yelling got a bit much. It was virtually impossible to immerse myself in the world on stage, and I kept being reminded that it was but a play.

Dinner was merrily forgotten as we made our way to the venue. A heavy lunch did the trick. All in all, an enjoyable night out with the rather stressed girlfriend who fretted about unsorted work emails that were due to stream in and had to be attended to after heading home.

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