I was there just to support a friend and wasn’t really quite sure what the play was about. As it was a fund raising event, I tried not to expect too much, so as not to be disappointed. Sure enough, there was quite a bit of self promotion at the beginning and at the end, it kinda took patience and resolve to sit through all that, to look beyond the gimmicks and focus on the play.
The audience laughed a lot in the 2 hours and the punchlines were generally well timed and well delivered, which to me was due to collective effort and good chemistry among the cast. Kudos to all of them, who were performing despite most of them feeling under the weather. The ability to laugh at themselves through references, mainly digs, to their real-life personalities added texture to the play.
Even though the story centered on the use of mobile phones, the play was exploring the theme of human relationships, both in terms of romantic and platonic relationships. The storyline was rather cliched, to be honest, but I still found myself moved by the development and the ending. It also does a good job reminding us to cherish face-to-face and voice interactions as means of developing deep and meaningful relationships. It took some discipline to hold back the tears when the lead character was finally able to express himself without having to hide behind a mobile phone. Oops, spoiler!
As it was the first night, there were a few technical errors, which I hope would be rectified for the subsequent shows. Overall, there was pretty effective use of space and movement to accentuate isolation and connection. The use of screens to show the audience the exchanges going on via text messages was a nice touch; it was a pity that it was marred by reflective screens and small font size (be considerate to the elderly, please!). There was also live music to set the tone and mood of each scene though I can’t see why the music can’t be pre-recorded. But that’s just me. That said, both musician and vocalist did great work in there and definitely added color to the play.
Looking at this play objectively, considering the amount time the team had to stage this, the cost of the ticket, the venue constraints and the eventual effort, I would consider this a pretty good effort!
I also want to shout out here to Kyris 程光, the friend who invited me, for doing such a wonderful job with his role! I have almost never seen him this uncivilized before! Heehee! If you are curious to know what I mean, you can still catch the play over this weekend.
P.S. Tickets are still available at Sistic.