Wednesday, March 24, 2010

There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.

We snuck away to Singapore for the weekend and stayed here which is further away from Orchard Road than we usually stay but still just three stops on the MRT. Originally we had booked a four night stay for three of us with days of theatre, movies, eating and sticking up on underwear but a week out J was called to Jakarta for work and ended up leaving Sunday. He did manage to catch 'To Kill a Mockingbird' on stage at the National Library Theatre and the very last showing of Avatar in 3D at Shaw House with us before he left with strict instructions not to forget the candles from Ikea on his way back through.

We felt like we were the last people on earth to see Avatar, sitting in a half empty cinema at lunchtime, wearing a pair of thick rimmed Joe Ninety 3D glasses.  We have had the (2D) DVD for a few weeks now but hadn't opened it wanting our first watch to be the way it was intended and now it will probably stay in its box. After seeing it's 3D incarnation I am pretty sure the 2D version will seem rather flat- pun intended! The visual effects were impressive. Being in 3D meant I felt pulled into the story. It reminded me of when surround sound first came out and all of a sudden Maverick and Goose were flying around the room yelling first in one ear then the other. Definately groundbreaking.

I snuck my wee finepix in and managed to snap a couple of fairly clear photos too.

On Sunday we went to see Harper Lee's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Singapore's Toy Factory productions surrounded by a fairly well behaved school group in the libraries enviable little theatre.

The American classic is still required reading, so I've discovered, in International schools. M is reading it in English right now. He managed to finish on the plane trip over as he didn't want artistic director Goh Boon Teck's vision to influence his first read through. The clever modern set design was simple and dramatic; a completely blackened stage punctuated only by a row of 6 doorways, tall chrome legged stackable bar stools as props and scene appropriate lighting, requiring the actors to carry the well known and much loved work which, for the most part, they did. The experienced multiracial cast shouldered the responsibility of not only convincing the audience of their characters and their sincerity through accents that were varied but never southern but also of creating the scene with only the stools. The result was a fine piece of choreography to go with some sage and enduring lines and a throughly modern and enjoyable production.

Next on the agenda, after J had flown our crumpled coop, was Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland', also in 3D of course. I like Burton /Depp /Bonham Carter compilations and Alice was no exception.

The staging and the makeup were incredible. Wonderland exactly as I had imagined it the numerous times I have read Lewis Carroll's printed version. Burton's Alice, technically a mix of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' and 'Through the looking glass and what Aice found there', is bold and ravishing, whimsical and heart stoppingly surreal.

I loved the inclusion of recognisable lines straight from the pages of a childhood Alice and the inclusion of the Jabberwocky with Carroll's fabulous fantastical onomatopaeia mouthed so easily by the Mad Hatter;
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

As if he knows what it all means!

I also managed a coffee with the talented Leone whose blog I have been reading (and photographs I have been devouring) ironically since we moved to Cambodia although Leone and her husband moved to Singapore at about the same time we did. We flew home on Tuesday in skies so clear I swear I saw heaven.


Sarah (Chez Lee) said...

That last photograph is so incredibly beautiful! I enjoyed reading your film reviews and wish I could have seen Avatar on the big screen.

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