(Photo: Joel Lim @ Calibre Pictures)
8 May 2014
Run: 8-10 May 2014
Esplanade Theatre Studio
A one-woman show is nothing new in our local theatre scene. In these shows, the vulnerabilities of being and living are for all to see through the mask of that single character. But what if there were no mask and all we have is the actor, warts and all?
We have #UnicornMoment; a brave self-examination of life which presents all its facets through thoughtful storytelling.
Oon Shu An really took the plunge in writing and performing this show. Difficult questions about life and mortality were asked, painful and funny episodes were re-examined, and the audience was rewarded in countless ways. She has a natural facility with words as the sensitivity in modulating the tone of the different stories is evident. She must also be commended for telling very personal stories with such candour yet avoiding the pitfall of navel-gazing. One certainly hopes that she continues to write for the stage.
Her words were enhanced by a brilliant performance as she exhibited a great range in portraying the different people in her life. The effort taken to internalise the interviews she conducted really paid off. Oon also showed a keen sense of comic timing which got the audience laughing non-stop for five minutes. To top it off, she ends the show with a strong display of physicality that vividly pulls together all the various motifs. It is a mystery to this writer as to why she was so afraid that a show of such quality would fail.
However, for all the praises that are well-deserved, I felt that some of the transitions could have been smoother as this resulted in a slight lag in the performance.
Aside from Oon’s performance, this review would be incomplete without mentioning the technical elements. The combination of the set, light and video came together and provided an unexpected visual spectacle. It was amazing what Andy Lim (set designer), Shiv Tandan (co-director and video artist), and Petrina Dawn Tan (lighting designer) could do with a row of fridges. Without revealing too much, I recommend the reader to look out for how a humble fridge is elevated to become a box of surprises and even a vantage point to view the world from.
I came to the show in search of unicorns, but found the hues and shadows of life in this #wonderfulproduction.