Saturday, November 07, 2009

Episode 411: Days Of Significance

Have just realised that in order to get to church tomorrow in time for band practice, I'm either going to have to wake up ridiculously early to walk there or take a taxi, as the buses don't start running that early. Oh well. Practice today was good, although I was pretty much winging it throughout. Will have to have a listen to the songs later to figure out the harmony for certain, although Matt says what I've done is fine. Finished reading Moniza Alvi's Split World a couple of days ago, having really enjoyed it, especially the sequence of poems, Carrying My Wife, from the collection of the same title. Have now begun reading Christian Bök's Eunoia, which is one of those crazy experiments that has to be read to be believed. George Ttoouli was talking about it during yesterday's seminar and mentioned there was a copy in the Library, so I went to pick it up after coming out of last night's film. The main sequence of the book consists of five chapters, in which each chapter features words containing only one of the five vowels (and suppressing the letter Y), alongside other rules determining narrative content. It's in the spirit of what Oulipo writers like Georges Perec have done, but this makes it no less astonishing though.

Also went to see the RSC production of Days Of Significance with Dan and Laura this evening. Had mixed feelings about it, mainly to do with how realistic the dialogue was and the things the characters did. I know theatre is a construct and artifice is inherent, but you can still tell when something feels inauthentic, and that's how all the cussing and fighting felt. Sure, it was quite witty, but hey, so's the adaptation of The Importance Of Being Earnest I've done with Yee Hung for the musical. I kind of felt like the second act didn't go far enough in exploring the psychological trauma soldiers experience and its effects, and too much was left unsaid, which seemed like a bit of a waste because that really was what would have been interesting to play out onstage. The ending was a bit odd as well. I understand that closure isn't an absolute necessity. I mean, it's not ancient Greek drama we're dealing with here, but at the end, I couldn't get a clear sense of where Hannah's character was standing. Had she made up her mind to stand by Jamie? Or was she still unsure about the whole thing? That's the weird part, I think, that her ambivalence was, well, so ambivalent I wasn't even sure if it was there. On the whole though, I've seen worse plays back in Singapore, so I guess tonight was okay. That and going to the Tin Angel twice for hot chocolate. Haha!

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