Post Curtain Call:
We got to catch BONDINGS at Panggung Eksperimen ASWARA, and we were disappointed. Not with the show, but with the turnout! If you’re familiar with Panggung Eksperimen, it’s thrust seating. Only the middle section was filled with people; and filled, but not even full! Come on, people! Are you trying to kill the industry?
Anyway, we walked into BONDINGS without any idea of what was going to happen. Eagerly awaiting the show, we noticed the stage area donned no set; it was completely empty. We’ll be honest with you and tell you that when we attended the press conference, we felt a tinge of racism could easily pass through with something so multi-cultural like this (in the form of stereotypes). But when the story began and the characters introduced themselves, the stereotypes dissolved and we enjoyed the rest of it.
The general plotline of the show was pretty clear- the residents of the establishment were being evicted because developers wanted to rebuild it. So they decided to bersatu teguh bercerai roboh to mend the issue. Along the way, they found out new things about the developers. Although this was a well-written bit of the story, we felt some of the actors did not give it their all. The energy started at a high in the establishing scene, but later depleted and kept fluctuating throughout the show. Granted, it was very physical; a lot of the scenes required a lot of moving, jumping, rolling, etc.
One major aspect of the show that we must compliment is the directorial ideas of how sports is combined with everyday lives and how it translate into emotions. The two sporting equipment used were balls and badminton racquets, both of which were used cleverly. However, some scenes that involved the equipment turned out to be a major distraction to whatever the scene entailed, almost making us miss the whole point of that particular scene.
Compliments to director Dr. Wong for a spectacular use of space. As the stage area was fairly big, the blocking happened in all the right places; making the whole production seem very fluid as opposed to being one-dimensional. The lighting was also done nicely. It lit the scenes and actors very well, except for blackout moments- we felt that that happened a tad bit too fast. In the beginning, the song choice at the establishing scene was very jarring, almost drowning out the actors’ voices, but as the story progressed, the music and sound effects used were more appropriate… although sometimes silence can speak volumes. The whole show ended with a very familiar tune and it definitely gave out a sense of patriotism.
We rate it: