Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Theatre Review - BlogMas Day 2


Sunday afternoon treat

Generally on the weekends, I like to take time off to spend with family at home. This usually involves at least 3-4 hours of TV, then a homemade meal before either some more TV or blogging. However, as a special pre-Christmas treat for this year, we decided to watch a local play just last Sunday. The show had received positive ratings and almost had a full-house (in terms of audience numbers) when we got there. And seeing as it was only in town for 3 days, it was definitely something we ought not to miss!

So for day 2 of BlogMas, here's my review of 折翼天使 (aka. Angels Pslam):

Flawlessly spectacular

The plot itself was simple but filled with strong messages about the unexpected challenges in life and how to deal with them positively. It circulated around the true story of a 23-year-old woman who had lost her legs, along with her 10 month old baby girl and mother-in-law, during the tragic Sichuan 7.9MW earthquake in 2008. What made matters worse was that the main character was originally a dance instructor for children. Without the key physical feature needed for dance, the protagonist was unable to make a living initially and had to rely on her parents. To top it off, her husband broke off with her as her injury reminded him too much of his mother and daughter's deaths.
Devastatingly horrifying basically summarises the first part of the play.
However, the situation starts to get better as the second act progresses. The protagonist first meets a group of missionaries from abroad, whom had come to help hospital patients that had suffered the physically from the earthquake. Through one of them, she managed to get in touch with a foreign prosthetist of prosthetic legs. Although slightly reluctant to try them at first, the main character eventually gathered enough courage to do so. She mentioned on countless occasions that they weren't at all comfy, and it took a long time for her to get used to them. However, with lots of practice and support from her family and friends, she eventually managed to walk and even dance confidently in them. Having mastered these skills, she later decided to volunteer in another earthquake-hit town, called Ya'an, not too far from her own in 2013. Today, the protagonist continues to dance and travel to different parts of the world to share her story and the lessons she learnt through her journey.

From a critic's POV, the play's story was portrayed perfectly by each and every actor and actress that stepped foot on the stage. The emotion they manage to convey through their actions and speeches was unbelievably powerful. Whether the scene was about laughter, joy or sadness, all were easily portrayed by the performers and felt accordingly by the audience. A big thumbs up to all the children that performed, their singing was particularly wonderful, and to those that had created the amazing backdrop.
Would a different crew have been better? Absolutely not. The entire drama was flawlessly spectacular just the way it was already.

Angels Pslam autograph board

Lessons learnt

As mentioned, the play was meaningful as well as memorable. I think the clearest message presented was definitely that about persistence and optimism. In short, no matter what life throws at you, even if it is an extreme tragedy, always remember that there are more solutions to them than the problems themselves. We must always hope for a brighter future, and believe that one does exist as well. 
As for the optimism part of the play's core message, that simply involves smiling (lots of it). Smiling through the toughest of times definitely helps you feel better (trust me, I've tried it before). In addition, always look at both sides of the coin. Although it may feel as though there is nothing positive about the situation on hand, if you look just a bit more closely and patiently, you may just find several bits of happiness that can change the gray skyline a bit (even if it only lasts temporarily).
Persist in being and thinking positively, for the answer you're looking for may just be around the corner - that's my new year's resolution for 2016.

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