Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Raw: the boy inside

Was informed by my friend about this play happening at the Esplanade Studio. Its been ages since I've been to a play (the last was Animal farm) when I was still taking literature in college. 
And boy am I glad I made it for this play.


This greeted us at the start. Bare. Emptiness. Just silence sounding in our ears. With the little chattering happening among the audience. And the lights came on.
Characters walked in.

This play writes about the character Nicholas a boy struggling with Ecezma  as he pursues his love for swimming. I loved how the play unraveled in silence, in soft sounds, in loud shouting tones, in darkness, in focus light and in strong light - interacting with our emotions as the story goes along.

In  this play, I thought about my brother who also is still suffering from Ecezma, and myself who had suffered from it when I was in primary school and was miraculously healed. The stares at my legs during PE because the night before I had scratched it till it was raw and red - some parts dried some parts still not. Me, pulling my skirt lower to my knees so its covers the scars on it. The treatment I went through - cockroach shell boiled bitter chinese medicine, bathing in tea leaves,drinking snake soup to cleanse the blood, cooling powder, butter moisturizer, sulphur powder to kill the germs - most of the remedy I should have tried it. Oh yes, and I stayed away from seafood for a long long time. I also came close to steroids injections that was proposed by doctors to be the quick but not sure solution. I did not go through with that. And not sure how, I grew out of it in secondary school. Just one day, I no longer itch. There are many people suffering from Ecezma actually. And it worsens in a hot humid country like Singapore. But to call it a disease during the play, made me feel uncomfortable.
I thought about my brother who gets the constant itch and to date, still scratches unknowingly till raw wounds appear on his body and face. I've grown up with it so to me, its common, nothing serious. But is it true that it scares people off? Can't one just brush off the dried skin thats left behind on the bed. Its just dried skin after all.

And if Ecezma is such a  minor problem, and it already causes discomfort.
I prayed for strength for the parents of intellectually disabled or handicap children , for they bear the brunt of the stares, of society unacceptance - more than that of their child. And I pray for the society and community to be kinder to them.

But yes people don't understand.
I mean how can I fault you if you havent been through it.

As the play enters the deeper into the story, it also brings about the theme of family ties. But not too much that it still allows me to focus on the main character Nicholas.
How the cycle goes on - just as the phrase goes " outer wounds can heal, but the inner ones are the monsters we all fight with" - Here we see the mother keep nagging to her father about how his off-handed method of letting the children grow as they are , is not how it should be, She wanted her father to tell her when she was young, not to run in the rain because she might fell sick rather than let her way and eventually fell really sick. I guess she can say that now. But would she really have wanted her father to do so in the past?
Made me ponder on the parental methods that I've heard. So whats' good for a child? In every method, I believe there's pros and cons. But most importantly, the child must feel the love, care and concern. The support that the family is meant for. In fears, for someone to confide in (without judgment), in struggles, for someone to hold on to for comfort and hugs and in unknown, for someone to bring one back to reality gently and with good constructive intentions.

And as each character goes into deciphering their inner monsters, the use of soft music plays in the background, as if calling the character to look inside oneself rather than the environment. And the pace slows, just right, for the audience (myself) to ponder on my own monsters.

I like how the synopsis writes " Maybe if one is so used to pain, then one might start becoming oblivious to it" 

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