By Victoria Chen
Bound Theatre is back with their sixth production, The Taste Of Water, an original play written by Teng Zi Ying.
The premise is simple: a pair of secondary school friends bump into each other at Changi Airport after seven years apart and reopen the gates to what was, and what could have been.
Presented at Goodman Arts Centre’s Black Box with a simple set comprising of a few boxes and door frames, the show has a muted colour scheme that could possibly look like a large body of water.
The Taste Of Water delivers pretty stage pictures and an unabashed use of the entire black box space. A hilarious classroom lesson is a highlight out of all the scenes, typically interspersed with movement sequences. And then, a prolonged journey in the middle of the show that takes place in complete darkness except for two torchlights.
As the cast shifts in and out of characters and spaces, it is clear that they know how to work as an ensemble, although more could be done to capture what is unsaid with the text. In fact, the show could afford to be a lot tighter with quicker pacing, perhaps by switching up the rhythm more frequently, and riding the ebb and flow of natural conversation. Director Wee Xuan Yi has a clear vision and he is certainly encouraged to take greater risks and push his actors further in order to achieve it.
Overall, the piece is warmly received. Laughter from the audience and thumping sound effects sometimes overpower the characters’ dialogue, but all in recognition of the fond memories of secondary school days—gossiping before class, skipping CCAs, first loves, and uncertain futures.
Bound Theatre’s latest production will tease your heartstrings, yet leave you unfulfilled, like that relationship which didn’t last beyond O’Levels.
Photographs courtesy of Bound Theatre
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