Monday, August 18, 2008

Another Great Year Of SMI Drama Tradition

Camelot ended yesterday, Sunday 17 August 2008 after three days of public performances. For all the great and wonderful support from parents, Ipoh folks, fellow Michaelians and old boys, the school expresses its heartfelt gratitude and appreciation. Below are shots taken of these excellent individuals, who have made the school project possible.

My salute to all!

See you again next year at our 48th production. From St Michael's Ipoh, Peter Khiew, signing off.

1 comment:

konrad, said...

I was in SMI from 2001 to 2005, and the school certainly holds a special place in my heart. This was my second time returning to support the school drama as I actually live in KL now, and have only visited Ipoh twice since leaving.

I attended the Friday performance of Camelot, and I’m sorry to say that my friends and I were sorely disappointed by what we saw on stage. Performance-wise, I suppose the school has its hands tied as they have a limited pool of students to pick from. However, poor diction (especially by the lead actress) was still a major problem that could have been addressed at the casting stage (unless she was actually trained to speak in that horrendous tone, though either way, the director should be held accountable).

A bigger issue would be the actual selection of the play. I personally feel that Camelot was a terrible choice. Our plays are basically musicals… and what makes musicals enjoyable? Sadly, Camelot did not offer any memorable tunes at all, and some of the songs were downright awful (not to insult the band, of course, it is in no way their fault that this drama comes with a lousy list of songs). The whole situation was just made worse by the terrible diction, which made a lot of the dialogue impossible to follow.

So the story was a pain to follow because of the diction and the music was bad. So seriously, what exactly justifies the selection of a play like Camelot to represent the school?

There really wasn’t anything impressive worth noting… and as I am writing this quite some time after watching the actual performance, I suppose it should be quite clear to see what kind of impression it has left on me and my friends.

One of them recalled one of the dramas staged under Mr Timothy Chee some time back… and how very impressive the opening was, where Mr Timothy personally stepped up on stage, and instead of delivering a predictable welcome speech, he started painting a huge image of a dragon. Now that’s a wow-factor.

Having sat through two dramas under the new director (after Mrs Tan Kah Chuan retired), I fear that the quality of the school drama has really gone downhill and needs to be addressed by the school administration.

I remember back when I was in school, there was news of ACS holding their own drama as well, and there was a lot of buzz around it because it was an original script, and it apparently produced lots of laughter from the audience, and everyone who attended seemed impressed.

If it is not in our tradition to write our own scripts and produce original pieces, we can at least pick better plays to stage. Bring back the quality that we used to have. We need more performances like Justice Pao and The King and I.

I apologize if my comments are not entirely constructive, as I really have no experience or knowledge in this field and don’t know what more to suggest. I only know that as a member of the audience, I was incredibly disappointed, not entertained, and my friends felt the same way.

I would still like to support the school’s efforts in the future. And when I do, I would really like to be able to walk away proud to be a Michaelian.

- Konrad Senf (5SC1, 2003; USA3, 2005)