Theatre for Young People aka T4YP

It was hard watching T4YP earlier today. A lot of unexpected feelings surfaced, especially when you consider some of the subject matter. The first play, about a guy asking the girl for a long distance relationship and the girl saying no, that hurt. Because I know how it feels to pull yourself away because you can’t handle the hurt. And that letting the other person down is just one of the most horrible things you can do.

I loved Kimmy’s performance in this, though I thought she should have smacked the guy a few times for being an idiot.

The second play was about anxiety. Specifically that debilitating fear some people have in public. Ellen’s a girl who forces herself to go to the nearby McDonald’s for lunch, and finds it horribly hard to silence the voice in her head. It’s the same voice that tells her she shouldn’t be out, that she has no business being in public, and finally, the stress gets too much and she tries to run away.

As she’s about to leave without ordering, she sees her acquaintance Olivia walk in. Ellen thinks about saying hi to her, but the inner voice points out that she’s a horrible conversationalist. Ellen finally agrees and is about to leave when Olivia sees her and invites her to sit. Then Olivia plays with her hair, and there’s an awkward silence, during which the voice claims victory. Olivia then leaves Ellen, unable to withstand the awkwardness, but not without inviting Ellen to an audition they’re having soon. Ellen decides to attend, and finally stands up to the voice.

I liked how this ended, but at the same time, I thought it was rather naive and optimistic. I know of people who have this, and well… coming out and facing your fears isn’t always this easy.

Nana’s skit was highly disturbing. Nana makes an offer to her childhood friend, who says no. She jokes about him not liking her, and he says he never said he didn’t. Then he attempts to have sex with her, and Nana runs away. What’s interesting in this play is that there’s an unintended followup. I say unintended because the actor who should have been playing the role in this act and the one in the last act were the same guy, standing in for another actor who could not make it.

The guy was nicknamed “Sexual Harrasment Guy” by the way, by our group. Because between this and the last, he played the guy who tried to assault two girls.

The next play, I think, was a monologue by a guy who was gay. His was a heartbreaking story. However, the actor who played the character was a stand-in and not the original. His performance was good, but it wasn’t great. I spoke to the actor who wrote it, and he had a hairline fracture. Get well soon, Brendan!

I can’t remember if there was another skit between this, but the last skit was about Samson and a prostitute. I mentioned before that the actor from Nana was the same as Samson, and so it wasn’t hard to think the two of them were the one and the same, just that it took place several months apart.

Samson apparently hired a prostitute, but when he lets her into the house and starts talking, it’s obvious that he’s substituting her for something or someone else. What follows is the prostitute (whose name I need to find out) trying all sorts of things to get Samson into the mood. He resists, and insists she start from the shoulders. So she massages him and then tries to educate him about BDSM.

Samson cannot quite get the idea of consent, and she then chokes him in an example of it. He loses his temper, stuffs money in her mouth, and attempts to overpower her. She pulls a knife from her pants and he backs off, terrified. The skit ends with her handcuffing him to the bed, and then she leaves him, with the key JUSTTTTT out of reach.

This was a much darker and more mature material than I expected from such a group, which was rather refreshing. I was a little concerned though, because there were young kids in the audience. However, we didn’t hear any inappropriate questions, so all good.

Overall, T4YP’s Main-Main is a pretty good show, with minimal props and great stage acting. They also prove the point that you don’t need costumes to put on a show. Sometimes all you need is great performances.

Oh, I forgot to mention: To differentiate the different skits, there were these little “commercials” in between. One of my favourite was when a guy who couldn’t pronounce “Apple” went into this 2 minute melodrama dance set to a Chinese ballad, which ended with him saying “Apple” properly. Then there was the one where the guy kept disturbing the girl by poking her, and she responded by slapping him after 3 warnings. I have never quite heard a slap so loud.

There was also a Disney tribute and a Lady Gaga Op and Ed sequence. I enjoyed myself tremendously.

And now, sleep!

Naoko @ Geminianeyes