May 14, 2006

Cantonese opera Romance of the Red Pear Flower

presented by the Chinese Theatre Circle on 13 May 2006 at the Drama Centre Theatre

This theatre is at level 3 of the National Library. It is a medium-sized theatre, quite a pleasant place. The stage is quite big. I think there are around 650 seats but I feel that the seats at circle 2 which is equivalent to level 5 are not suitable. You would be looking down at the performers at about 45°. Another thing is that there is no aisle down the center of the rows. So if you are sitting in the middle of a row, you will have to squeeze out to the left or right aisle which is about 14 seats either way. There are adequate toilets which are just outside the theatre. They are spacious and clean.

During the show, everything went smoothly. The lightings was appropriate and well-controlled and the sound system went without hitches. Changes of scenes were almost immediate without long pauses. The interval of 15 minutes was just adequate. Background sceneries and props were also well done. It could be seen that a lot of effort was put in. Sceneries of scene 4 were beautiful but it looked rather congested. I took some pictures but unfortunately they turned out blur. (Actually taking photos is not allowed inside the theatre.)

The main characters were performed by Seetho Hoi Siong, Wong Kum Yeng, Christopher Choo, Leong Kam Fai and Ellen Li. They performed well.

I think Scene 4 was the most enjoyable. In this scene the lovebirds met for the first time but the scholar did not know the true identity of the maiden. It was entertaining and funny with melodious songs and fine acting. This was not the first time I saw this excerpt but this was one of the best.

The last scene was also entertaining. And a happy ending that pleased everyone. The poor scholar topped the imperial exams and became a 狀元. He returned as roving ambassador and married the beautiful maiden. The corrupt prime minister was arrested for treason and other crimes. There was also a dance item by the 12 courtesans of the prime minister.

Relief and Joy after the performance. Click on picture for larger version.

1 comment:

A.C. said...

Seetho Hoi Siong was alright, but I don't like Wong Kum Yeng. She once said in an interview that her role in a particular show is "just like any other shows", and that statement really put me off. I mean, how can an actor say that? Unless all the shows he/ she act are variations and deviations from a single script. Hee....