Post Curtain Call:
A Language of Their Own
Once we were comfortably seated, we noted immediately that the stage was set in a minimalist manner. A piano was set centre stage but further back, and the pianist began the whole production with a heartfelt (and as it turns out, recurring) piece. As we waited for the show to begin, we wondered as to what the two very noticeable stage props would be used for during the story. Speaking of props, things were kept simple and pivotal to character interaction.
The audience is held by the hand and led through the story by pianist Caleb Lee and a collection of rather familiar tracks, subtly but beautifully highlighting the tones and moods through the scenes in the background. Some might hope for something a bit more dramatic at certain points, like a pause at moments of truth, but that’s really down to preference. The story itself is a gritty look into the lives of those whose experiences should be shared more often, and the themes linked up into well-thought out patterns throughout the plot.
Our two male leads were Alfred Loh and Jayson Phuah, who at the start had us thinking, “nah, these two wouldn’t be together in real life!” But as the play went on, the relationship was slowly and convincingly solidified, and in fact, by the end, had us glaring with concern at the stage. The supporting actors Dennis Yeap and Gregory Sze did an excellent job of sealing Alfred and Jayson’s characters (Oscar and Ming) by bringing their characters to life, while not completely overshadowing them. Despite a moment or two of stuttering, their voices were well projected, both in volume and tone, something that was paramount to the drama and the real emotions that they were portraying.
The actors took great possession of their spatial awareness; as previously mentioned they utilized their props brilliantly, but also pulled off their interactions with each other (both emotional and physical). It must also be mentioned that the lighting was done tastefully, what with certain scenes featuring division or separation being enhanced by dual tones.
Overall, director Woon Fook Sen does a commendable job telling this story of love, life, and human connections. From the slow-moving and melancholic piano theme, to the grace and intensity of the performances, this re-telling of ‘A Language of Their Own’ manages to engage its audience with a story and characters that I’m sure we can all relate to, in one way or another. Definitely one to watch if you still have the chance! And if you’re all about the tear-jerking drama, of course. *holds back tears because I’m a big strong man*