About Death & Dancing

 

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With Pink Dot 2014 happening later this month and Obama’s declaration on the month of June being the official gay pride month, LGBT issues has clearly been the talk of the town. Buds Theatre aptly re-staged its 2008 hit – Death and Dancing, a humorous and uplifting play about a gay man and lesbian woman.

Originally written by Claire Dowie in 1992, Death and Dancing tells the tale of Max and Max, a gay man and lesbian woman, both struggling to define themselves against societal expectations. This play remains extremely relevant to the 21st century and it makes one wonder if things have changed at all despite the increase in such discussions.

 

Death and Dancing Review

 

Combining the smoothness of the dialogues with audience rapport, I must say that Death and Dancing did engage me all the way from the beginning to the end.

Rebecca Lee, who takes on the same role for the second time, was clearly at ease with the script and character, portraying the image of a stereotypical ‘butch’ convincingly. Zuhairi Idris was a good match for her, energetic and quite pleasant to watch. With their superb acting, they managed to bring out the essence of the play despite the minimalist set and props.

It’s a kick to watch Rebecca and Zuhairi, juiced with the electricity of young love, interacting and challenging each other. They worked well together and drew ripples of laughter from the audience, while having a good mix of quiet, contemplative moments. 

The ending however, was slightly abrupt to me. What I wished for was greater development of the characters’ relationship, especially during the latter half of the show where the both of them have not spoke to or seen each other for a decade. 

 

Verdict

 

In an interview I did with the Director, Claire Devine, she mentioned that Buds Theatre will always remain as fringe theatre. Tugged at the second floor of a shophouse in Joo Chiat that houses around 30 people, one inevitably makes eye contacts and interacts with the characters from Death and Dancing.

To get to know the characters in such an intimate manner makes me feel that there is perhaps, a bit of both Maxes in all of us, whether we’re gay or straight. Small, personal and intimate – these are what make the fringe theatre experience truly enjoyable and memorable.

The show raises a lot of interesting questions: about sexuality, politics, stereotypical views we place upon ourselves, and the difficulties of growing up amongst others. Seamless onstage transitions and clever low-budget workarounds, help make for an entertaining, if not dramatically enthralling, production.

Rating: 7/10