I went to watch “Cook a pot of curry” last Friday night, with a friend of mine who wasn’t born in Singapore. She was the one who wanted to watch it while I was happy to watch just about any theatre recommended by friends.
The venue was the theatre of La Salle. It is quite a sizeable auditorium and we sat in the circle seats. While we could still see the actors/actresses quite clearly, because the theatre was quite small, they were mostly talking to the stalls instead. Still, it was a pretty decent view.
The play is written by Alfian Sa’at, quite a famous scrip writer apparently, who wrote Cooling Off Day. And I would know none of these because I’ve not been in touch with the Singapore scene for the past 4 to 5 years.
I really liked the acting done. Thought the play was a tad too monotonous though. While they did try to break up the ‘interviews’ with short interludes, at times, I was just waiting for it to end. I guess it didn’t help that after a while, I felt some of the issues being raised were quite repetitive. Perhaps it was made worse by it being things I didn’t actually want to hear.
Because, in truth, even if the play is a good representation (is there even such a thing as a ‘good’ representation? Aren’t all representations just a fraction of reality, a magnification of our own prejudice and subjectiveness?) of prevailing viewpoints on the ground, most of the time, I didn’t agree with what was being said. Especially when some of the characters started getting ‘nationalistic’ and drawing boundaries between ‘them’ and ‘us’…
It makes me wonder if all who’ve lived abroad for sometime lose the sense of importance others associate with national identity?
Another part of me wondered–if more people had studied Geography, in particular the issues of migration and identities, would they still be thinking in the same way? And then I thought of the general elections in the UK in 2010, and the changes made by the UK Border Agency thereafter. Is there any country that is immune to the trappings of national identity? Perhaps not.
Perhaps at the end of the day, there isn’t a right or wrong. There are only diverse individuals, clinging strongly onto subjective viewpoints.